Ferriday alumna Poole to once again don the black & gold
FERRIDAY — Grambling State was an easy choice for Ferriday High School alumna Chanta Poole.
The mascots may be different, but there’s at least one similarity that makes things feel close to home for the former Lady Trojans point guard.
“The school is the same colors as my high school — black and gold,” Poole said. “I also have friends up there.”
After two years playing for the Copiah-Lincoln Community College women’s basketball team, Poole signed a scholarship with Grambling State at the end of April. Now, she’s focused on continuing her basketball career at a place in which she’s wanted to play for a while.
“I’ve been going to Grambling every summer and on breaks before I graduated from high school,” Poole said. “I wanted to go there after I left Ferriday, but they didn’t offer me out of high school.”
Since she’s finally getting to live her dream, Poole said it was a special feeling to put on the black and gold again. It’s also important for her to continue representing the Lady Trojans and the Town of Ferriday.
“That’s going to be a pretty good feeling (representing Ferriday), because I don’t really know of anyone after me that’s going to school to play ball,” Poole said.
But Poole insists she doesn’t feel too much pressure in trying to give her hometown a good name.
“I’m loose about it,” she said. “I already know how it is. Playing (junior college) basketball is just like NCAA basketball.”
It will be hard to top what Poole experienced this past season at Co-Lin, though. The Lady Wolfpack won the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges state championship this past season, and Poole said she was happy with the way she and her teammates came together.
“There weren’t any separate groups or anything,” Poole said. “If we did something, we did it together as one whole team. Last year, there was this group and that group, and that hurt us a lot. We got to the state championship game last year, and some of them were argumentative. Our minds weren’t in the game at all.”
Poole also said she’s grateful to be able to personally experience a state championship run.
“It’s really special,” she said. “All those years at Ferriday, I never got a chance at it. Even though we had the talent, we just couldn’t ever achieve the goals.”
Poole reports to Grambling State Aug. 11, and in the meantime, she said she would be working out individually to improve her shooting, ball handling and defense.
“This (past) year, I was more of a scorer and a leader,” she said. “At Grambling, I want to work hard, win more games and become a better person.”
Poole is the daughter of Doris Poole and Melvin Ricard and the niece of Pamela Poole.