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VHS star basketball player Tiarra Jones signs with Tougaloo

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Tiarra Jones celebrates her signing with her family. Left to right: her brother, David Jones; mother, Stephanie Jones; Tiarra Jones; father, Robert Jones Sr.; and brother, Robert Jones Jr. (Photo courtesy Tiarra Jones)

Vicksburg High School basketball player Tiarra Jones officially signed with Tougaloo College on Thursday to further her basketball career.

Last season, Jones helped the Gators to a 20-11 season while playing under head coach Troy Stewart at VHS. Jones averaged 8 points per game last season  along with an average of 7.3 rebounds.

After VHS boy’s basketball coach Kelvin Carter tipped off a recruiter about Jones, she began getting visits from Tougaloo College who wanted her to play basketball for them.

”I was approached by Tommy Jones after a basketball game, and he just happened to be a recruiter from Tougaloo and that began the first time I started really looking into the school,” Jones said

During her signing ceremony, Tougaloo head basketball coach Keith Barnes Sr. brought Jones the basketball jersey of former VHS star basketball player Karry Callahan, who just finished her last season at Tougaloo. Barnes told Jones that the No. 3 jersey was available for her.

Jones plans to be pursue a nursing major at Tougaloo.

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Butler named Community MVP by NFL Players Association

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Tennessee Titan Malcolm Butler (Photo by Chipermc - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83245134)

Vicksburg native and Tennessee Titan Malcolm Butler continues his generous charitable giving in communities where he has lived and worked. In recognition, he was named the Community MVP for week 11 by the NFL Players Association.

Butler posted the news Wednesday on Facebook.

Butler graciously helped provide people in Nashville, Tennessee, with free COVID-19 testing and grocery gift cards, feeding about 600 families. He helped residents of his hometown, Vicksburg, by giving out grocery cards as well, while also donating $5,000 to the University of West Alabama’s hunger/pandemic fund relief. UWA is his alma mater.

The NFLPA thanked Butler on Twitter for his donation.

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Masterson scored 10 points in PCA’s 66-28 victory Tuesday

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(photo by Carrie Martin)

Porter’s Chapel Academy basketball player Sophie Masterson helped the Lady Eagles to a 66-28 win over Tallulah Academy Tuesday.

Masterson scored 10 points on the night, and she also added 10 rebounds along with her points as the Eagles crushed the Trojans. Her sister Olivia Masterson grabbed seven rebounds and put up 4 points in the win.

Sophie not only did great in last night’s win, but she also played excellent defense Monday where she had 11 rebounds in the win against Deer Creek.

Yakia Burns led the Lady Eagles in points over Tallulah Academy by scoring 35, and Zy Smith added 9 points of her own.

Sisters Marley and Macey Bufkin also managed to get points on the board last night as well. Macey finished with 4, and Marley had 2 points while both played exceptional defense in the game.

Masterson and the Eagles will play again Thursday against Tensas Academy at home starting at 6 p.m.

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Hinds soccer players honored for academic achievement

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Johannah Grace Ballenger and David "Beau" Rimmer (photos courtesy Hinds CC)

Two Hinds Eagle soccer players have been honored for achievements in the classroom with David M. Halbrook Certificate Awards for Academic Achievement Among Athletes for 2020.

Johannah Grace Ballenger, of Brandon, and David “Beau” Rimmer, of Bay St. Louis, were recognized during the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities business meeting, held recently via a virtual platform.

The annual honors recognize efforts of individual student-athletes who excel in academics, leadership and service. Each college or university in Mississippi selected a male and female student athlete to receive this recognition.

The Halbrook Awards program recognizes colleges and universities that achieve and maintain high academic standards for student athletes, thus encouraging high graduation rates.

The Halbrook Award for Academic Achievement Among Athletes was established in 1984 as a result of the passage of House Concurrent Resolution No. 88. The awards program is made possible through endowments from former Rep. David M. Halbrook of Belzoni and his brothers, John C. and James G. Halbrook, of Belzoni, and J.A. Halbrook, of Beaumont, Texas, in honor of their parents, John C. and Ernestine McCall Halbrook.

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