By Robert Wilson
First-year Velma Jackson High coach Jeremy Jackson has a player he wants college recruiters to come see.
Devin Jones is his name and scoring in his game.
The 6-foot-5 senior forward was at the top of his game last week when he averaged 31 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 4.5 steals and 3.5 blocked shots and led Velma Jackson to two MHSAA Class 2A, Region 6 victories.
For his performance last week, Jones has been named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Jones had a career-high 35 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocked shots in a 65-49 victory over Pelahatchie. He also had 27 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 3 blocked shots in a 71-48 victory over Pisgah.
Jones is averaging 19.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.2 blocked shots and 2.1 assists this season for 11-11 Velma Jackson. Ten of the losses have been to bigger schools, five losses each to Class 6A and Class 5A teams.
“Devin is a player who will be very productive on the collegiate level,” said Jackson, who was an assistant for seven seasons at Canton High before coming to Velma Jackson. “He has developed his game into a collegiate level of play where any coach would be excited because he is already trained to play on the next level. He accepts his role that is needed to help the team win, which is a characteristic that college coaches will love.
“Devin has been a leader for us since the start of the season. He understands the game on a high level, more than most high school players do. Devin has energy and effort to push a team to their highest potential. He can play the wing as well as the forward position. Devin is a great shooter and can be a ball handler when we need him. What he can bring to a team is the heart that is needed to change the outcome of a game. Devin is very active on the defensive end. I expect him to carry us throughout the rest of district play and the state tournament.”
Velma Jackson’s next game is Friday against Scott Central in a region game at home at Camden. Scott Central gave Velma Jackson its only Class 2A loss this season with a 61-55 decision on Jan. 3 at Scott Central in Forest.
Coaches may nominate their players by texting or calling Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276. Only players who play for teams in Hinds, Madison or Rankin counties are eligible.