BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
Seber Windham and Charlie Pavlus love coaching high school basketball on the coast. Each played locally, received scholarships to the college ranks and eventually decided to pursue coaching careers in South Mississippi.
When worthy high school basketball players were being overlooked and by-passed from participating in State All-Star Basketball Tournaments, the coaching duo decided to do something about that.
Four years ago they came up with the South Mississippi Basketball Showcase...selecting players from both the girls and boys ranks to compete in All-Star Classics, one for the seniors and one for underclassmen. It also gives players a chance to impress college coaches.
Years ago Biloxi High School standout Isaiah Cannan who guided the Indians to a State Championship, wasn't offered a scholarship by the State's Big Three, Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. That didn't sit well with Indians coach Windham.
Cannan became an All-American playmaker at Murray State and was later drafted by the Houston Rockets.
Windham said, "I think we really have some good talent down here and of course, Isaiah is our own home grown Biloxi kid. He was overlooked by some of the big schools. So, e just felt like these kids needed exposure. People like Ed Simpson who is playing college ball. Jahshire Hardnett who signed a college scholarship. Of course, we'll have another one, Devin Booker is turning pro. So, we've got really good players down here and we just felt like they needed the game to represent themselves."
Coach Pavlus couldn't believe how the State's Big Three would overlook a premier player in the caliber of Cannan.
"He's playing at the highest level now and at one point USM came in and said they weren't sure he could play in this league, "stated Pavlus. "He ended up being one of the better players in the country."
Pavlus and Windham are dedicated coaches who are always thinking about their players, making an effort to give all high school players a chance to succeed in high school and in the college ranks.