Gordon, Rushing honored as state’s best with Howell, Gillom trophies

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008

TUPELO (AP) — Mississippi State guard Jamont Gordon has won the Howell Trophy as the best men’s college basketball player in Mississippi and Delta State guard Jennifer Rushing was named the best women’s player, earning the inaugural Gillom Trophy.

The winners were announced Monday night in Tupelo.

Gordon, a junior from Nashville, Tenn., was a unanimous all-Southeastern Conference selection this season and led the Bulldogs to the SEC West title and the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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“I guess all the hard work paid off,” Gordon said. “It’s just such a great honor. Basketball is a game that I just love playing.”

Gordon is considering entering the NBA draft and said he could make a decision by as early as next week.

Rushing, a senior from Hollandale, led Delta State to the Division II national semifinals and a 32-1 record. She was the NCAA South Regional most valuable player for the Lady Statesmen, who were ranked No. 1 to end the regular season.

“I was the ninth child of nine children and I had a lot of brothers who had no mercy on me,” Rushing said. “Looking back I see how they played a major role in me being the best athlete I can be.”

The Howell Trophy is named for former Mississippi State star Bailey Howell. The new women’s trophy is named for former Ole Miss standout Peggie Gillom, a Rebels assistant coach.

Finalists for the Howell Trophy also included Gordon’s teammate, Charles Rhodes, and Ole Miss forward Dwayne Curtis. Gillom finalists also included Shawn Goff of Ole Miss and Southern Miss’ Pauline Love.