Corder: Logan fought to become JUCO All-Star

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

Even in the world of junior college basketball, days aren’t always chocolate, roses and mushy love notes.

Sometimes all that’s left is taffy crammed between your bicuspids and molars, wilted carnations and Dear John letters.

Former Natchez High guard Chris Logan realized quickly during this past season his honeymoon at Northeast Mississippi Community College had gone up in flames. In a relationship like this, Ralph Kramden would’ve sent Alice flying in the first week.

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Logan was unfairly painted the scapegoat by head coach Mike Lewis during the Tigers’ 10-15 campaign.

Lewis re-signed in March and, as a final act of derision, snubbed Logan by not nominating him to Saturday’s Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College All-Star game.

&uot;He’s been through a lot this year,&uot; father Chris Logan said. &uot;The only thing I could tell him was to keep playing ball, keep on playing the way he knew how. If things were not going well, I told him to step up and be a leader. Just play ball the way he knew how.&uot;

For MACJC coaches that was good enough to honor the 6-0 sophomore with an All-Star selection.

His numbers won’t shake up the record books &045; 8.8 points per game, 2.8 rebounds, 2.56 assists and 1.24 steals in 21 games. But it’s his balance as a shooter, passer and defender that forced opponents to do more than window shop when considering Logan in their gameplans.

Logan maintains his versatility will define him in Saturday’s game hosted by East Central Community College in Decatur, but played at nearby Choctaw Central High School in Philadelphia.

His attributes and unselfish play could be his final ticket to the next level, which included Division I mid-majors Campbell and Middle Tennessee before the heat backed off late last season.

&uot;By me getting others involved, I make myself better,&uot; Logan said. &uot;It shows you’re not trying to score every time down, but willing to give it up. That’s what I realize from my past experiences.&uot;

With the contemptuousness Lewis showed, the two-year starter never considered an All-Star ordination a possibility.

That’s why when roommate and fellow Tiger Patrick Veal passed through the dorm threshold with an envelope in his hands, Logan &045; busy watching old game tape &045; never imagined the contents inside.

&uot;When I found out I was very shocked,&uot; Logan said. &uot;Being the type of person I am, I knew the truth. I believed in myself. All my life, I thought about basketball as a game of teamwork.&uot;

The remaining staff at Northeast tries to paint a rosy picture about the relationship with its players, namely Logan. Assistant coach Maurice Stafford, for now a holdover, said more was expected out of Logan last year due to Trey Johnson’s departure for Alcorn following the 2002-03 season.

&uot;(Logan) and I talked early in the year &045; he’s always been at a disadvantage,&uot; Stafford said. &uot;He plays hard and gives it all he’s got when he’s on the court. Chris loves playing the game.&uot;

However, that love wasn’t reciprocated last year. But for Logan, breaking up is hard to do.

Chuck Corder

is a sports writer for The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3633 or by e-mail at