By Robert Wilson
Daeshun Ruffin is scheduled to have his No. 24 Callaway Charger jersey retired next Tuesday at the Class 5A, Region 4 Tournament when Callaway plays Ridgeland at 6 p.m. at Callaway.
The 5-foot-9 senior guard showed again last week why No. 24 in being retired. Ruffin scored 38 points to lead defending Class 5A state champion Callaway to a 72-66, 5A Region 4 victory Tuesday night over Ridgeland in his last regular season high school game.
For his outstanding performance, Ruffin has been named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Ruffin made 13 of 24 shots from field and 10 of 15 shots from the free throw line with 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 assist in the win over Ridgeland.
Ruffin, an Ole Miss signee, is rated as the No. 1 player in Mississippi, No. 7 point guard in the country and No. 44 player in the country among seniors. He is averaging 34.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.0 steals for 7-0 Callaway, which has won 27 straight games against Mississippi teams. The last Mississippi loss was to Olive Branch in the 5A state quarterfinals in 2019. Ruffin would be the fourth leading scorer in the country by MaxPreps if he had played enough games. Ruffin has scored a season-high 39 points against Vicksburg, 35 against Harrison Central and 38 against Ridgeland in his last three games.
Ruffin now has 2,420 career points and has moved into third place this season in the storied tradition of great Callaway scorers behind Malik Newman (3,108 from 2011-15) and Deville Smith (2,538 from 2007-11). Ruffin passed Mario Bland (2,363 from 1992-96) and Eddie Archie (2,360 from 1977-80) earlier this season.
Ruffin will be the fourth Callaway boys player to have his jersey retired, joining Newman, Smith and Bland.
Ruffin scored a career-high 50 points against Ridgeland last season as a sophomore despite playing just two and half quarters due to senior night.
“Daeshun has consistently dominated his competition this season and over the course of his career,” Callaway coach David Sanders said. “He definitely goes down as one of the greatest scorers to ever play in the state of Mississippi. His national footprint gives him a case to be an all-time great. Daeshun is a generational talent who will be irreplaceable.”
Ruffin was named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Player of the Week when he scored 32 points in an 81-62 victory over Lanier in the team’s season opener.
Ruffin was the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year and Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Player of the Year last season. He averaged 26.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.9 steals and led Callaway to a 25-5 record – undefeated against Mississippi teams — and the Class 5A state championship, a No. 1 Mississippi and No. 38 national final ranking by MaxPreps, this past season. Ruffin shot 50 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range (averaging 2.2 per game), and 76.7 percent from the free throw line.
Ruffin burst onto the high school basketball scene as a freshman. He averaged 19.6 points and led Callaway to a 25-6 record and the Class 5A state semifinals. As a sophomore, Ruffin averaged 26.4 points and led the Chargers to a 21-8 record and the 5A state quarterfinals. He took it to another level last season. And so did Callaway, playing in showcase games across the country. Ruffin showed off his game as well. He averaged 30.1 points in eight games across the South. Ruffin had only one game below 27 points with highs of 37 points twice. Callaway had a 5-3 record against some of the best teams in the country and Ruffin going up against some of the best players in the country.
The Performance Therapy/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Girls Basketball Player of the Week will be announced Wednesday.
Coaches please contact Robert Wilson by text or call at 601.506.2276 or email at [email protected] with your nominations by 3 p.m. Sunday.