Three Rebels Named Finalist For State's Top Basketball Player

JACKSON, Miss. Ole Miss men’s basketball players Terrico White and David Huertas were both named a finalist for the 2009 Cellular South Howell Trophy while Bianca Thomas of the Rebel women’s team was selected as a finalist for the Gillom Trophy, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday.

The awards are given annually to the top male and female college basketball player in the state.

White was named SEC Freshman of the Year by the league coaches and Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press after collecting 18.4 points per game in conference play, most among SEC freshmen and fourth-most among all players. The Memphis native excelled in his new role as the team’s point guard when he was forced to move there from his natural position on the wings after an injury to Chris Warren midway through the season. White also received All-SEC second team recognition and is a candidate for Freshman All-America status.

After posting a team-best 18.1 points per game in all games, Huertas earned All-SEC second team honors and NABC All-District second team accolades this season. A native of Puerto Rico, he ranked fifth among all league players in scoring average. The junior guard has drained the most 3-pointers in a two-year span in school history.

Thomas’ emergence as an All-SEC first team selection has helped Ole Miss reach postseason play for the fifth time in the last six seasons as the Rebels have advanced to the third round of the WNIT. A junior guard from Henderson, Tenn., Thomas entered the postseason tied for third in the SEC with 15.8 points per game, while she finished third among league players with an 18.1 scoring average in SEC games.

The other finalist for the Howell Trophy is Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado. Other finalists for the Gillom Trophy are Pauline Love of Southern Miss and Alexis Rack of Mississippi State.

The six finalists and their coaches are expected to be in attendance Monday March 30, 2009, when the trophy recipients are announced at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. with the program at 6:30 p.m.

For ticket information, contact the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum at 1-800-280-FAME (3263). 

The annual awards are named after a pair of Mississippi basketball legends. Bailey Howell was an All-America player at Mississippi State in 1958 and 1959 before embarking on a 12-year NBA career. Peggie Gillom still ranks as Ole Miss’ all-time leading scorer with 2,486 points during her collegiate career. She has coached in the WNBA and the Olympics and is currently the associate head coach at her alma mater.


 

 

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