The high school basketball spotlight will be focused on the Landers Center in Southaven on Tuesday, Nov. 20, as the Mid South Classic tips off.
The tournament will feature teams from three states competing against one another. And among them is none other than top college prospect James Wiseman. Wiseman is the top target of major programs, including Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and, yes, the Memphis Tigers.
Wiseman and the East High School Mustangs will face off against DJ Jeffries and the Olive Branch Conquistadors. Jeffries, a top 40 prospect, signed his national letter of intent to join the Memphis Tigers on Nov. 14, the first day of the fall signing period. Olive Branch narrowly defeated the nationally ranked East Mustangs last year, 73-70. Both teams are the defending state champions in their divisions.
Jeffries, who once committed to Kentucky, decommitted and ultimately chose Memphis to play basketball next year.
Also, East High star Malcolm Dandridge also a signed of letter of intent to join the Tigers next season also. Dandridge, who played for Hardaway at East High, was among the first players to commit to the University of Memphis once Hardaway joined the UofM.
The Whitehaven Tigers are looking to go one step further in their goal to win a state championship. Last season, the Tigers lost to the East Mustangs in the state championship game. In the classic, Whitehaven will play Sophie B. Wright, a charter school from New Orleans with three Division I prospects. Wright lost in the Louisiana 3A state playoff in the semifinals and return seven seniors from that team.
In the opening game, Raleigh Egypt will play Forest Hill from Jackson, Miss. Raleigh Egypt will feature Deovaunta Williams, a 6’1” combo guard with an offer from UT-Martin. Forest Hill was the 5A basketball state champion runner-up last season, eventually losing to Olive Branch in the championship game.
Proceeds from the game will benefit the Jerry C. Johnson Foundation. Johnson is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the former coach of the Lemoyne-Owen College. Admission is $15; for more info visit www.midsouthclassic.com.