NHS pair lead state stars

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2001

Michael Martin is going to get at least one more chance to coach Jamal Bouldin, and this time it will be with state pride on the line.

Martin, the head coach at Natchez High School for the past 12 seasons, has been selected as the Mississippi head coach in the 2001 Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game to be held in Florence, Ala., on June 7.

Just like the past three seasons when the Bulldogs averaged 22 wins a year, Martin will be able to depend on Bouldin in the All-Star game. The honor of playing in the All-Star game is just the latest in a long line of awards the Natchez senior has earned on the hardwood. After helping lead NHS to a 24-5 record and No. 2 state ranking this past season, Bouldin was named 5A first-team All-State by the Mississippi Association of Coaches.

He recently signed a national letter of intent to continue his education and basketball career with Tougaloo College in Jackson.

&uot;Jamal is deserving of all the recognition he is receiving,&uot; Martin said. &uot;He is just an unbelievable shooter (287 career 3-pointers), and there have been several nights when he just put us on his shoulders.&uot;

Bouldin won’t be the only talented player on the floor on June 9. In fact, some of the top players in the country are expected to be participating.

Mo Williams of Murrah High School in Jackson is a Parade and McDonald’s All-American. He won the 3-point contest at the McDonald’s High School All-American Game and will play next season at the University of Alabama. Other top players on the Mississippi squad include Ole Miss signee Mario Joyner (6-4) of Jim Hill and Jasper Johnson of Simmons (6-8) who will play next year for Southern Miss.

This will be Martin’s third time as an All-Star coach. In 1992 he was the head coach of the South squad in the Mississippi North/South Game. With former Murrah High and Georgetown star Othello Harrington as the focal point, Martin’s South team picked up the victory. He was an assistant on the Mississippi staff for last season’s game, and he declined the job back in 1996.

&uot;I’m really looking forward to coaching Jamal one more time, and it is going to be a lot of fun working with such a talented group of players like we have this year,&uot; Martin said.

Martin got his first glimpse of the team on Sunday with a one-day minicamp held at Holmes Junior College. The team won’t get another chance to work together until June 6, when players report to the University of North Alabama for the All-Star game.

Alabama has won the past four games in a row and leads the overall series by one.

Other players on the Mississippi team are expected to be Michael Archie (6-4) of Greenwood; Bennie Denton (6-3) of Oxford; Solomon Forbes (6-4) of Lanier; Tim Green (6-8) of Canton; Keesler Jonson (6-2) of Hattiesburg; O’Brien Lowe (6-4) of Nettleton; J. R. Willis (6-0) of St. Stanislaus and Jonathan Patten (6-2) of Picayunne. Chey Christie (6-4) of Biloxi, who has signed with Clemson, was selected to the team but will be unable to attend because of graduation ceremonies.