By Robert Wilson
Ismail Rashid loves big games and one of the biggest was Friday when Biloxi, ranked No. 1 in Mississippi by several polls and one of the favorites to win the MHSAA Class 6A state championship, came to Brandon to take on Rashid and his teammates.
The 6-foot-4 senior forward took on the challenge and had 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and led Brandon to a surprising, 67-52 victory over Biloxi, only the third loss this season and worst loss this season for Biloxi.
For his outstanding performance, Rashid has been named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Rashid also had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in a 74-46 MHSAA Class 6A, Region 5 victory over Oak Grove last week.
Rashid – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team – is averaging 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.1 steals for 23-6 Brandon this season.
“Ismail is one of the most versatile players in the state,” Brandon coach Fred Barnes said. “We have asked him to do everything from playing point guard to post up. Ismail loves the big games. That’s when he is at his best. His teammates knew that they could count on him to step up big on both ends of the court against a top 10 team like Biloxi. Ismail is a great kid and a joy to coach. He is a great leader for our basketball team.”
Rashid averaged 16.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.4 steals and led Brandon to a 19-7 record and the MHSAA Class 6A quarterfinals last season as a junior. He made the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson third team last season.
Brandon plays Petal Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the Class 6A, Region 6 championship at Oak Grove. Both teams advance to next week’s South State Tournament.
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]).