Whittley honored to call state All-Star game

Published 12:40 am Thursday, July 5, 2007

NATCHEZ —Wilbert Whittley must have made a few basketball coaches happy this past season.

Whittley was one of three high school basketball officials selected to call the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Boy’s North/South game.

Before he started officiating Whittley coached high school and junior high basketball for 20 years in Natchez.

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“The association was looking for some new blood, and it was another step for me,” Whittley said.

He has been officiating high school basketball in southwest Mississippi for 17 years.

“I enjoy officiating,” Whittley said. “When you find a niché, you stay with it.”

He has officiated numerous district games, two state tournaments and was honored as Official of the Year in 2005 by the Mississippi Association of Coaches.

“Officiating is a passion and I would do it even if I didn’t get paid,” Whittley said. “It is just another way of coaching for me and there is nothing better than when one person comes up after a game and says ‘you called a good game.’”

Whittley was selected by a committee of 10 high school coaches from across Mississippi. After getting feedback from area coaches, the committee selects officials who have done superb jobs to officiate in the annual all-star games held in the summer.

Teams are compiled of high school basketball players from all over Mississippi. Players are selected by the Mississippi Coaches Association based on their performance during the season.

“I’m just pleased to be recognized,” Whittley said.

This year’s North/South All-Star game will be played in Clinton, at Mississippi College. The girl’s game starts at 1 p.m. and followed by the boy’s at 3 p.m.

“It’s an honor to represent my association and the Natchez/Adams County area,” Whittley said.