Denson headlines men's JuCo game

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
April 2, 2002
PHILADELPHIA It's not every day a living legend can turn back the hands of time, but James Denson will attempt to do it briefly Thursday night.
Denson, who started on Choctaw Central's 1998 Class 2A state championship team and was the main cog on the 1999 state title squad, will be one of the main points of interest in the 25th-annual Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College Men's All-Star Basketball Game Thursday at Choctaw Central High School. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.
The 1997-98 Choctaw Central team can lay claim to being the best in school history as the Warriors went 39-2.
The Warriors beat Hinds AHS 72-71 in the 2A state semifinals with Denson scoring seven points and then handled Calhoun City 83-72 in the finals with Denson scoring 10 points.
The 1998-99 team went 27-9, including a breeze through the state tournament as the Warriors beat Nettleton 52-45, Taylorsville 66-49, and Shelby Broad Street 70-54.
Denson scored 17 points against Nettleton, 15 against Taylorsville, and 25 against Broad Street. In addition to the point total against Broad Street, Denson also had 12 rebounds, eight steals, five assists, and four blocked shots.
Denson will represent East Central Community College, along with ECCC teammate Winfred Craig.
More than that, however, Denson will also represent the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, who sponsor the men's and women's all-star games.
Denson averaged 16.5 points and 5.8 rebounds as a sophomore as the ECCC Warriors went 10-12 and barely missed making the state tournament. He had a season-high of 34 points.
Denson has been hobbled slightly for a little over a week with an injury to his left foot.
Denson was the only returning starter for the 1998-99 campaign which also resulted in a state championship. Few Warrior fans expected a repeat.
Denson signed a football scholarship with Samford University out of high school, but transferred to ECCC where he played basketball the last two years.
Denson transferred to ECCC and will leave content with his decision. He was ECCC's Best Offensive Player and Rebound Award winner as a freshman. This year's awards have not been announced.
Denson was recently elected Mr. ECCC by the student body at the Decatur school.
He hopes to continue his playing career at a four-year school.
Craig, who played at Louisville High School, averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds. He had a season-high of 25 points.
Other area players on the South team are Nick Paige (12.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Chris Keyes (10.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) of Jones Junior College. East Mississippi's Dennis Dupree is on the North squad.
Also on the South team are B.J. Black (13.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg) of Copiah-Lincoln, Willie Breland (11 ppg, 7 rpg) and Marquez Moultrie (12 ppg, 5 apg) of Gulf Coast, Edward Mack (17 ppg, 4 rpg) and Chris Parker (12 ppg, 6.5 rpg) of Hinds, Wand Steward of Pearl River, and Brandon Griffin (12 ppg, 7 rpg) and Wesley Haynes (11 ppg, 7 rpg) of Southwest. Bill Wallace of Southwest will coach the South.
Other North team members are Alvin Harris (11 ppg, 9 rpg) of Coahoma, Shun Jenkins, Trent Vaughn (18 ppg, 8 rpg), and Prince Thompson (10.1 ppg, 4.5 apg) of Region 23 champion Itawamba, B.J. Townsend, Isaac Greenwood, and Greg Tucker of MACJC state champion Holmes, Kenneth Green (10 ppg, 9.5 rpg) of Mississippi Delta, and Jason Rogan (19.8 ppg, 6 apg), Andre Amos (10.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg), and Khamari Ballard (11.4 ppg, 6.1 apg) of Northwest. Don Skelton of Northwest will coach the North.

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