Bogue Chitto alum Zariah Matthews hired at East Mississippi C.C.

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

East Mississippi Community College has hired a proven winner as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball program, as Bogue Chitto alum Zariah Matthews was recently added to the staff of first year head coach Isaiah Butler in Scooba.

Matthews most recently spent the 2020-2021 season as a graduate assistant on the women’s basketball staff at Mississippi College.

As a student-athlete at Mississippi College, Matthews was a standout player for the Choctaws and was a three-year starter for the program.

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It was during her time as a player at MC that Matthews met Butler.

“I’m super thankful for this opportunity and ready to hit the ground running with Coach Butler at East Mississippi,” said Matthews in a release by the school announcing her hiring. “I was able to learn so much from him when he was MC’s graduate assistant during my freshman year there, and now it has all come full circle with me getting to work alongside him.”

A four-time member of the Gulf South Conference Academic Honor Roll, Matthews hold a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in athletic administration from Mississippi College.

On the court, Matthews started in 76 of 104 career games for the Choctaws. She averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game during her senior season.

“Zariah is an all-around hard worker who our players will be able to look up to and relate with,” said Butler in the school’s release. “I’m blessed to have her on staff at East Mississippi. In working with her at Mississippi College, Zariah is extremely smart and picked up on plays and sets very quickly. She was vital to MC’s success with her ability to score the ball and play at a pace few could match.”

That ability to play the game with an endless supply of fast-paced energy is what made Matthews one of the best to suit up for Bogue Chitto during her career.

As a senior in 2016, Matthews averaged 19 points per game for Bogue Chitto and then head coach Christi Terrell.

Matthews scored over 2,000 combined career points after making the varsity team as an eighth grader.

The payoff for the Bobcats and Matthews was a 31-3 record during the 2015-2016 season that ended with Bogue Chitto hoisting the MHSAA 1A state title with a 57-31 win over Shaw High.

In the win over Shaw, Matthews scored a game high 24 points as the Bobcats ended the season on a 21-game winning streak and brought back the first state title in girls’ basketball since 1995 back to Bogue Chitto.

As both a junior and senior, Matthews was the Daily Leader All-Area MVP in basketball as Bogue Chitto went a combined 109-26 during her career at the school.

Also a standout in softball, Matthews was part of three state title winning teams for then-coach Scott Leggett at Bogue Chitto.