Coahoma Early College High School senior Cebesha Brunt announced she would continue her basketball career at Missouri Valley College next season.
Brunt, who averaged around 8 points a game last season, was one of six senior high school athletes in Coahoma County to announce where they would play basketball in 2020-21 last week. Missouri Valley College is a four-year NAIA school.
“I chose them because I felt it was closer to my parents,” said Brunt, adding Missouri Valley College is around seven-and-a-half hours away from Coahoma County.
Coahoma County High School point guard Bentavious Galmore, shooting guard Markevious Holmes and power forward and center Keyshaun Holly along with CECHS shooting guard Tre Payno will be staying home and team up to play at Coahoma Community College. CECHS senior center Thomas Williams Jr. will be playing for Holmes Community College.
Galmore, who originally signed with Delta State University and changed his mind, averaged 17.9 points per game, 3.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals.
CCC coach Micheal Stringer influenced Galmore changing his decision.
“I always wanted to play DI basketball,” Galmore said. “I trusted Coach Stringer and took the JUCO route. I felt like it was better. We talked from time to time. We worked out a couple times together.”
Galmore has his eye on playing for a SEC school after his two years at CCC.
Holmes finished with 5.5 points per game, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals.
“It was to keep to the trio that we had going during high school,” said Holmes of his decision to attend CCC.
The Red Panthers won the 2019-20 state championship and three out of the last four years. Holmes hopes to continue the success.
“We’ve just got to go out, work hard and play together,” he said.
Holly finished with 8.1 points per game, 1.1 assists, 10 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.2 blocks.
“I chose CCC because I think they’ve got a good little program going on and I think I could be a good piece of the team,” Holly said. “That’s going to be a good experience because we just came off a championship run. We know how each other plays, so that’s going to be great.”
Holly played for Shelby Broad Street High School as a freshman and sophomore, but after it became North Side High School, he transferred to CCHS.
“I switched because of my dad (Fernado Holly),” Holly said. “My dad wanted me to try something new and my old school was combining. He thought it would be a good opportunity for me to come and try something new out.”
Payno finished with 18 points per game, 1.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 3.6 steals.
“I chose CCC because I feel like that’s my home,” he said. “That’s going to be home for me.”
Williams Jr. finished with 1,038 career rebounds. He averaged a double-double with 14.2 points and 11.5 rebounds per game to go with 1.8 assists, 3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
“I wanted to get around a new environment,” Williams Jr. said. “I wanted to try something different. I loved how much interest the coach showed in me. He told me that he loved the way I played. He wanted to find a way to get me to a DI college because that’s one of my goals.”
Williams Jr. said he was interested in playing for William Penn University.
None of the seniors were able to have a formal signing due to the coronavirus, but all looked forward to having a ceremony after the social distancing goes away. They all looked ahead of their college careers and reflected on high school.
Brunt said her coach at Missouri Valley State did not know what position she would play, but she flexible and can go anywhere. Her shining moment came on the Lady Tigers senior night in a win against Amanda Elzy High School.
“I had a very bad ankle injury that game,” Brunt said. “It was the best game for me because I was able to play through that injury and I didn’t think I would be able to. I actually played very well.
“I was hearing a lot of people saying I had a great game. I believe that was my best game out of the whole season.”
Brunt plans to major in biology pre-med and become an emergency physician doctor. While out of school, she is running to stay in shape.
“I actually have a basketball globe outside,” she said. I do little light games with a friend of mine.”
Galmore plans to major in criminal justice and become an FBI agent.
He feels he and his high school teammates will pick up from where they left off.
“We all played together in junior high except Keyshaun Holly,” Galmore said. “We’re just going to add to the chemistry and build from there and try to bring a championship to Coahoma Community College.”
Galmore’s finest hour from high school was when he won his third championship and was the game’s MVP.
“The moment, it was great going out on top,” he said. “I was the first win three at my school. It was a blessing. I thank God for it.”
Galmore said he staying in shape by working out in the house with sit-ups, pushups and building his strength.
Holmes’ best game came in the quarterfinals against New Site when he finished with 6 steals. He plans to get his welding certificate, play for Jackson State University after CCC and is staying in shape.
“I still do a little workout, but it’s really calmed down,” he said. “Around my neighborhood, I just dribble the ball and exercise.”
Holly said he would play at any position at CCC. He plans to major in either business or welding. He is most proud of his accomplishments after transferring high schools.
“My story is coming from my old school to my new school because I had more opportunities and a better,” Holly said. “I’ve never known these guys, but I came down and bonded with them real good.”
Payno and Williams Jr. looked forward to playing against one another in college.
“It’s not going to be the same (being on different teams), but it’s going to be a lot of competition,” Payno said. “When CCC plays Holmes, I feel like the city is going to come out.”
Payno said he liked being able to play with CCHS athletes he grew up with.
“It’s going to be a great thing for the crowd,” said Williams Jr. of CCC playing Holmes. “I know they’re going to be very interested in it so we’re going to enjoy the moment. It’s going to be great.”
Payno’s career highlight came when he scored 43 points in a win against North Side High School in Clarksdale High School’s holiday tournament.
“The fans and the crowd had me going, pumped up and my mom (Martisha Payno) was in the stands,” Payno said.
Williams Jr.’s best high school moment came against Ruleville High School when CECHS won the district tournament in Humphreys County this past season.
“We hadn’t won district and we won it this year,” he said.
Williams Jr. plans to major in business entrepreneurship and start his own truck driving company.
“I know someone who owns their own truck driving company,” he said. “They make a lot of money and I want to make a lot of money.”