Coker named Mister Basketball on dream team

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Paul Coker possesses the size and strength to become anoutstanding college basketball player. What Coker accomplished atBrookhaven Academy was noteworthy because he always received extraattention from opposing teams.

Coker’s accomplishments have earned him the title of MisterBasketball on The Daily Leader’s 2001-02 All-Lincoln CountyBoys Basketball Team.

Joining Coker on the dream team are Shermaine Vaughn ofEnterprise, Cody Mitchell of West Lincoln, Demarcus Barnes ofEnterprise and Fred Mackabee of Brookhaven.

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Enterprise’s Billy Vaughn is Boys Basketball Coach of theYear.

The dream team was compiled by the Leader sports staff withinput provided by high school and college coaches.

At 6-foot-6, and 185-pounds, Coker is blessed with above-averageshooting skills. He averaged 16.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.6blocked shots per game. Opponents collapsed their defenses onCoker.

“I am honored to win this award,” said Coker who was sporting atwo-tone hairdo. “My teammates helped me win it.”

Coker led the Cougars to a 32-5 record. They were Class AA StateTournament consolation winners and advanced to the quarterfinals ofthe MPSA Overall Tournament.

This past season, Coker played linebacker and receiver on the BAfootball team. He said the extra strength and durability he gainedon the gridiron made him a better basketball player.

Brookhaven Academy boys coach Dale Watts has been coachingbasketball for 27 years. He said Coker is an exceptionalplayer.

“Paul is the most talented basketball player I’ve coached,” saidWatts. “He has a lot of agility and quickness for the sport. He canrun and jump. Basketball is a natural for him.”

Coker said he enjoyed playing in the MPSA All-Star Game. Now heis looking at his future college plans when he’s not busy playingbaseball for the Cougars this spring. He plays the outfield,pitches and catches.

He is being recruited by Copiah-Lincoln Community College,Mississippi College and Louisiana College. “I definitely want toplay college basketball,” said Coker.

Cody Mitchell (5-11, sr.) was a late arrival from theWest Lincoln football team. He became a strong perimeter shooter,averaging 18.2 points per game for Coach Andy Smithie. He was thetop 3-point shooter for the Bears. He sacked 8 treys in a win overWesson.

Demarcus Barnes (6-0, sr.) was another late arrival fromLoyd Star’s football team. He starred as a defensive back and kickreturn specialist for the Hornets, signing a football scholarshipwith Coahoma Community College.

Barnes made a big impact in Loyd Star’s major rebuildingcampaign, leading them to an 18-7 record and the semifinals of theDivision 6-2A Tournament. He averaged 15.4 points, 9 rebounds and 4assists per game for Coach Gene “Moochie” Britt.

Fred Mackabee (6-1, sr.) of Brookhaven had the abilityto elevate his shooting skills as a senior. His strong leapingability helped him become a strong rebounder on the offensiveboards. He averaged 16 points per game for Coach Dan Presley’ssquad.

Shermaine Vaughn (6-1, sr.) was the strongest player onEnterprise’s state playoff football team and he used that muscle onthe basketball court, too. He averaged 13.2 points, 9.7 rebounds,3.1 assists and 2.6 steals per game for Coach Billy Vaughn’s 16-5Yellow Jackets.

Vaughn was recognized as a hustling senior leader onoffense and defense for the Jackets.


Bogue Chitto: Carlos Brown, Domenick Addison, DenardFerguson.

Brookhaven: Donald Caston, Lamar Hall, DexterMiddleton.

Brookhaven Academy: Craig Smith, Chase Magee, JimmyLatham.

Enterprise: Rufus Allen, Pierre Harthorne, KaryBrown.

Loyd Star: Jared Britt, Seth Britt, JamieJohnson.

West Lincoln: Luke Lofton, Sam Collins.