Some people in Vicksburg know Deonta “Tank” Selvy from his football days at Warren Central High School, while others see him as a man who helps the city’s youth by showing them the proper way to play sports.
A Vicksburg native, Selvy was raised by his single mom, Minnie Selvy. He began playing football in junior high at Warren Central, where Selvy started to see how talented he was. He pushed himself to get better. By the time he reached the 10th grade, Selvy took a senior’s position to become the starting offensive lineman.
“After the first couple of plays, I kind of got the hang of it,” Selvy said.
His athleticism impressed Warren Central head coach Robert Morgan; however, midway through his junior year, Selvy suffered a season-ending knee injury. He showed his skills during his senior year, though. In 2002, Selvy helped the Vikings reach the playoffs, and he was ranked No. 1 lineman in the state of Mississippi.
Selvy ended his time at Warren Central being a three sport athlete, lettering in football, power lifting and track, winning the state championship for shot put.
In 2003, Selvy committed to Hinds Community College where he played for two seasons before getting an offer from North Carolina Central University.
At NCCU, Selvy helped his team achieve a 26-1 record between the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and reach a national championship in 2006. After his college season, Selvy went to the NFL scouting combine where he did great, but did not land with a team due to agent disputes.
In 2007, Selvy moved back home and started a business, D&T Mobile Express, which he still runs today. The following year he began coaching football and basketball at the YMCA.
“I want to show kids how the game is supposed to be played,” he said.
Selvy coaches the Bears football team where his 10-year-old son, DJ, is the starting quarterback and linebacker. The team won 14–6 last night against the Rockets.
“Selvy is always dependable, and he was always willing to pick up the slack,” said YMCA Sports Director Wayne Scott. “And if I needed a extra coach, he would find me one.”
Selvy credits his wife, Takica Selvy, and his mother for his success. Overall, Selvy has helped coach more than 200 young athletes through volunteering since he made his way back home, and that number continues to grow. He also helps out with coaching at his old high school.
Asked what advice he gives to all young athletes, he responded with two things: “It is not all about sports,” Selvy said, “and make use of your time.”