The Dart: Next Jordan? VJHS friends, not lacking in confidence

Published 12:09 am Monday, September 17, 2012

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Angel Kenney, left, and Austin Foster, go up for the rebound as they play pick-up basketball on Palm Street Friday evening with Angel’s neighbor Garrett Floyd and Austin’s cousin Taylor Ganey.

Editor’s note:  The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter and a photographer throw a dart at a map and find a story where it lands. This week The Dart fell on Palm Street in Vidalia.

VIDALIA — Although the Friday night lights were shining bright at stadiums across the Miss-Lou, four Vidalia Junior High School students decided that basketball would be their game of choice Friday evening on Palm Street where The Dart landed.

Seventh graders Garrett Floyd, Taylor Ganey and Angel Kenney and fifth grader Austin Foster were shooting some hoops outside of Floyd’s home.

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But Floyd, a basketball player at Vidalia Junior High, felt he was taking advantage of lesser competition.

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Taylor Ganey, left, tries to grab the ball from Garrett Floyd as they play a game of basketball outside of Floyd’s house Friday evening on Palm Street. Taylor and Garrett both play for the Vidalia Junior High School basketball teams.

“I’m the next Michael Jordan,” he said. “I usually play better competition than this, but I have to take whatever comes in.”

Ganey is also a basketball player at the middle school, and Ganey said she and Kenney come over to play basketball with Floyd from time to time.

“He’s my boyfriend from school,” Ganey said. “He usually plays (basketball) with me. He’s on the boys’ team, and I’m on the girls’ team.”

Ganey may have been wanting to get some extra practice in, because her middle school team is in the middle of tryouts for this year’s team, she said.

“I like playing with him, but he beats me every time,” she said.

Floyd, who also plays football, said he loves to play sports, and he understands that being a good athlete is a gift.

“I just like being able to play,” he said. “I am just thankful for God’s grace and grateful to play.”

Foster, who is approximately a foot shorter than the other children, may have been the most overmatched player in the pick-up game, but he said Floyd had another advantage.

“He kind of cheats,” Foster said.

Floyd responded with, “How do I cheat?”

“Well, I don’t know. He just cheats,” Foster said.

Foster said another thing holding him back was his basketball uniform Friday afternoon. He and Ganey are cousins, and they were attending a family birthday party before they came to Floyd’s house to play.

“I wouldn’t have dressed so nice if I knew we were playing (basketball),” he said.

Floyd has been playing basketball since he was 3 years old, he said, and he claims to be undefeated in pick-up games on his home court, even against some high school opponents.

Floyd said he tries to give pointers to Ganey and Kenney, but sometimes they choose not to listen.

Floyd, left, Foster, center, and Kenney believe they could be the next big basketball stars.

“Sometimes (I give them tips), but they don’t like listening,” he joked. “I usually play with Angel every day, and I try to teach her something, but you know she is a blonde.”