By Robert Wilson

Florence’s Jay’Lan McNair was voted the MSHAA Class 5A, Region 5 Defensive Player of the Year, but 6-foot-6 senior center showed last week he could score as well.

McNair averaged 22 points and 14.5 rebounds, was named the MVP and led Florence to two victories and the region championship last week at Brookhaven.

For his outstanding tournament performance, McNair has been named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

Photo by Brooks Fortenberry

McNair had 24 points, 17 rebounds and 4 assists in a 71-41 victory over West Jones for the region championship and 20 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot and 1 steal in a 55-49 victory over Natchez in the first round.

“Jay’Lan has really stepped up his game in postseason play,” Florence coach Darrin Chancellor said. “He’s big, strong and athletic and runs the floor like a guard. Jay’Lan has a nice touch 17 feet and in. All the jucos want him and he’s getting interest from Mississippi Valley and Southeastern Louisiana.”

McNair is averaging 18.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4 assists for 25-2 Florence this season. Florence received a first-round bye and plays host by East Central Saturday in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs at Florence.

Robert Wilson selects a deserving boys basketball player from schools in Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties each week. Coaches can nominate players by contacting Robert via his cell phone with text or call (601.506.2276) or email ([email protected]).