The top Clarksdale Press Register 2020-21 All-Area basketball MVPs and coaches of the year came from three different schools.
Coahoma County High School senior wing Jermell Daniels is the boys MVP.
Daniels, who transferred from Coahoma Early College High School before the school year, helped lead the Red Panthers to a Class 2A MHSAA state championship in his first season with the team. He averaged nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals per game.
He also connected on two game-winning shots. One was in the season opener at Clarksdale. The other was in the second round of the playoffs at Pisgah to complete a come-from-behind victory after being 17 points down at halftime.
Lee Academy senior point guard and shooting guard Emily Moser (5 feet, 6 inches) is the girls MVP with 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals per game. She was a MAIS 3A-4A-5A All Star, the MAIS 3A D-1 District MVP and the team MVP. She was the team leader in assists and steals as the Fillies’ best on ball defender. She was the team's leading scorer and a team leader as an extension of the coach on the floor.
Moser led Lee Academy to the MAIS 3A North State Tournament as the ultimate team player and multi-sport athlete as she was selected MAIS 3A Softball All-Star and MAIS 3A Basketball All-Star.
She scored 11 points in the All-Star Game.
Coahoma County High School coach Derrick Moore was the boys coach of the year. He led the Red Panthers to their second consecutive state championship and fourth title in five seasons.
Clarksdale High School coach Greg Wilson is the girls coach of the year. He took a roster full of young athletes and led the Lady Wildcats to a second-place finish in the district. They hosted a playoff game.
All four honorees took the opportunity to reflect on their accomplishments this past season and looked ahead with goals for the future.
Daniels appreciated winning the MVP in a community with many athletes.
“It means a lot to be recognized over everybody,” Daniels said. “There’s a lot of great talent around.”
Looking back, he welcomed the opportunity to make the clutch plays.
“It was just a moment,” Daniels said. “I had to win the game for my team.”
While there was an adjustment process after playing for Coahoma Early College High School through his junior year, Daniels had a rapport with his teammates and coaches going back to junior high school.
“I got adjusted real fast with the coaching staff and the players,” Daniels said. “I already knew them.
“I’m a Panther now.”
Daniels said with less than one minute left in the fourth quarter in the championship game, he knew the Red Panthers were about win. CCHS defeated Newton 46-40.
“It was a dream,” Daniels said. “I had always wanted to win the championship my whole career.”
Daniels said some of his best moments in the playoffs came on assists to Martin Williams, who had five 3-pointers in the playoffs at New Site and four in the semifinals against Bay Springs.
“I felt like when he hit the 3, we were going to win,” Daniels.
Daniels hopes to one day own a car dealership and have a clothing line, but first he wants to play college basketball next season.