Reed big man on SEL campus
DRIVING IN Southeast Lauderdale's Ben Reed, right, doesn't let his size get in his way when it comes to athletic competition on the hardwood or on the football field. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/Special to The Star
Jan. 17, 2002
It's unlikely that Southeast Lauderdale's Ben Reed has ever impressed anyone with his size.
But whether it be on the basketball court or the football field, Reed has been a big man for the Tigers this school year.
Reed leads the Tigers in scoring, making a nice transition to the hardwood after a stellar senior campaign for the Southeast football team.
In fact, Reed's presence on the gridiron led veteran coach Dwane Taylor to open things up a bit the last couple of years.
And just like on the basketball court, Reed has delivered.
Despite standing just 5-feet-9, Reed completed 94-of-205 passes for 1,414 yards and 13 touchdowns and he also ran for more than 400 yards as the Tigers went 3-6.
Reed was thrown into the fire as the Tigers' starting signal-caller as a sophomore, and Taylor said three years under center certainly helped him develop as a quarterback. But Reed also did his part in developing himself, making all of Southeast's summer workouts for weightlifting.
That strength has come in handy for Reed on the basketball court, where he uses the pop in his legs to shoot over taller defenders.
During the past few seasons, Reed put up impressive numbers, but didn't always get the notice because Southeast didn't rack up a big number of wins and the Tigers had high-scoring Anthony Horner a four-year starter.
This season, however, Reed has answered the call as the go-to man for Southeast.
Through the Sam Dale Tournament played at Kemper County last week, Reed is averaging just under 21 points per game. But he's got other numbers that are even more eye-popping.
Reed has nailed a total of 61 3-pointers this season, an average of better than three per game. He knocked down six 3-pointers against both Carthage and Quitman this season and poured in 42 points against the Panthers.
Reed has played in 20 of the Tigers' 21 games, knocking down at least one 3-pointer in 19 of those contests and two or more long-range bombs on 17 occasions.
Knocking down 20-footers isn't Reed's only asset, however. He knows how to take it to the basket and how to get to the free-throw line.
In the Quitman game, Reed nailed 14-of-16 free throws, and he's hit 96-of-132 attempts this season better than 72 percent.
Reed is still awaiting ACT test results, but has attracted attention from some four-year schools in both football and basketball. As a matter of fact, it's not impossible that Reed could play both sports, especially if he ends up at East Mississippi Community College or a small four-year school.
After all, he's a shoo-in for all-division honors in basketball after making the All-Division 5-3A squad as well as The Meridian Star's All-Area team in football.