By Robert Wilson

Forest Hill’s George Marshall not only received the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week award this week, the 6-foot-3 senior guard also should earn the “Put Your Team on Your Back” award.

With two or three starters and other key reserves out with injuries and sickness, Marshall averaged 28 points and led Forest Hill to two victories in three games last week.

Marshall started with week with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot in a 70-51 victory over South Jackson and Jackson Public Schools rival Wingfield. Starter Jordan Ealey (foot injury) and key reserve Jayden Spencer (concussion) missed the Wingfield game.

Marshall had 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in a 65-50 loss to MHSAA 2021 Class 4A runner-up Raymond. In addition to Ealey and Spencer being out, starter Riyan Nelson (illness) and backup point guard Caylus Jenkins (disciplinary) missed the Raymond game.

Marshall had 32 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in a 70-66 victory over Class 6A Starkville. In addition to Ealey, Spencer, Nelson, and Jenkins being out, starter Braden Hughes (illness) missed the Starkville game.

Photo by Robert Smith

“George is consistently showing night in and night out that he is, not only the best player in the state, but also a great kid, student and teammate,” Forest Hill coach Jerry Currie said. “We went into the Raymond and Starkville games with a depleted roster and regardless of the scores of either game we fought and stuck together. I think George was forcing the issue, but now he’s calming down and displaying his great leadership qualities. Our record is tricky (6-6 going into Tuesday), but we have, in my opinion, the toughest schedule in the entire state.

“George has an incredible skill set. He’s turned into a scoring machine this year, but people forget that he was the starting point guard for us the past two seasons, so he has the natural ability to get others involved. He understands the game and when he’s really locked in, he makes the right plays. George doesn’t want to lose against anyone, but he definitely doesn’t want to lose to teams who are considered top teams. Throughout the course of the season, when we are successful, he’s hitting clutch shots, making the right pass, and coming up with tough defensive plays. When we are locked in and doing all those things, we are a tough team for anyone.” 

Marshall – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team – is averaging 32 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals this season for Class 5A Forest Hill, whose five of its six losses are to Class 6A teams. He has Division I offers from Jackson State, Alabama State, Murray State and North Carolina A&T. Several other Division I schools have shown interest in Marshall.

Marshall averaged 16.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists and helped Forest Hill to a 21-2 record and the MHSAA Class 5A semifinals last season as a junior. He made the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson fourth team last season.