ECCC's Hodge, Smith sign recruits

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
April 9, 2002
DECATUR While it wasn't Christmas morning, East Central Community College women's first-year basketball coach Brad Hodge and first-year men's coach Bill Smith were proud to show off their new signees for the 2002-03 school year Monday night at the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building.
Hodge added seven new players Monday and is expected to sign another today.
Monday's signees include 6-foot forward Kimyatta Viverette from Lake. She averaged 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks as a senior and was the division Most Valuable Player two years and was all-division three times. Viverette has been selected to the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game and was picked to the Mississippi Association of Coaches all-state team in 2001 and 2002. Lake finished 27-4 this year after going 34-3 and winning the Class 1A state championship a year ago.
Miranda Rosar is a 5-foot-11 forward/center from Neshoba Central. She averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds as a senior and is a three-time all-Division 2-4A selection. The Lady Rockets went 22-11 this year after going 28-11 and reaching the Class 4A state semifinals a year ago.
Also signing from Neshoba Central is Elyse Willis, a 5-foot-5 guard who averaged 10 points, 7 assists, and 2 rebounds as a senior. She was a 73 percent free-throw shooter. Willis is a four-time all-Division 2-4A pick and was chosen to the 2001 Class 4A all-state team. She played with the Mississippi all-star team in Australia last summer.
Newton's Lenore Gray is a 6-foot forward/center who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Lady Tigers went 27-7 and advanced to the Class 2A state tournament. She was picked to the 2002 Division 5-2A, Class 2A MAC all-state, and Class 2A all-state tournament teams. She has been named to the Mississippi All-Star Game.
Scott Central has a pair of players bound for ECCC in Britney Burks and Kattie Nickson. Burks, a 5-foot-7 guard, averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists this past year. She was a four-year all-division selection and a three-time MAC all-state pick. As a sophomore, Burks started on Scott Central's Class 1A state champion team. Burks finished her prep career with over 2,400 points and is Scott's all-time career scoring leader. She has also been picked for the Mississippi All-Star Game.
Nickson is a 5-foot-9 forward who averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Lady Rebels went 19-15. A four-year all-division selection, Nickson tallied over 1,400 career points and played on Scott Central's 2000 state championship squad.
Adding depth to the inside game is South Leake's Monique Overstreet, a 5-foot-10 forward who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds as a senior for the 20-6 Wildkittens. She was a 2002 all-Division 5-2A choice and was named to the East Central Classic all-tournament team.
Hodge expected to sign Rita Birden, a 5-foot-10 guard from St. Fredrick High School in Monroe, La., this morning. Birden averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 3 steals for the Class AA state champions. She was selected MVP in the AA state tournament and is a first-team all-state pick in Louisiana. She will play in the Louisiana All-Star Game.
All come from winning programs.
ECCC can sign three out-of-staters.
Smith signed six incoming freshmen including two from both Neshoba Central and Northeast Lauderdale for the men's team.
Signing from Neshoba Central are twins Tawon Walker and Tavares Walker. Both were named all-Division 2-4A. Tawon (6-2, 160) averaged 20.6 points, 3.1 steals, and 4.4 rebounds and was named the Most Valuable Player of the East Central Classic.
Tavares (6-2, 160) averaged 11.7 points, 2.4 steals, and 3.7 rebounds and was selected to the East Central Classic all-tournament team. The Rockets finished 23-10 and were the Division 2-4A runner-up.
Inking with the Warriors from Northeast Lauderdale are Stephen Dyess and Jamaal Martin.
Dyess (6-2) averaged 12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals and was all-Division 5-4A.
Martin (6-foot) averaged 18 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals and led the Trojans with 69 3-point field goals. Martin has been picked for the Mississippi All-Star Game and was all-Division 5-4A. Northeast went 24-8 and made the Class 4A South State playoffs.
Newton County's Al Willis and Philadelphia's Tellas Burnside also inked with the Warriors.
Willis (5-8) was all-Division 5-3A twice. He averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3.5 steals as a senior as the Cougars went 15-10.
Burnside (5-10) was also all-Division 5-3A two times. As a senior, he averaged 15.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists for the Tornadoes, 21-10.

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