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Mayes makes name for himself as ninth grader

Delta Charter’s Dae’Vern Mayes looks to drive past a defender and score in a contest earlier this season. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Delta Charter’s Dae’Vern Mayes looks to drive past a defender and score in a contest earlier this season. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Ferriday — Call him crazy, but Delta Charter coach Dewayne Taylor would take his ninth grade point guard over most point guards in the area.

“I go to games around here all the time and besides (Daryl Jones) in Natchez, Dae’Vern Mayes is the best point guard in this area,” Taylor said. “Hands down.”

Knowledge, scoring ability and the willingness to facilitate and run an offense is what Mayes a standout, even though he’s completely outsized at 14 years old. Mayes averages 16 points per game with the Delta Charter Storm, and though the team has faced older competition, Taylor said he gets asked about his point guard’s age on a weekly basis by opposing coaches.

“People are skeptical because of his size,” Taylor said. “But once they see him play, he changes everyone’s opinion.”

Mayes is a basketball fanatic. When he’s not in the gym running the offense for Taylor, he’s either playing a pickup game or watching videos online.

“I like to watch videos of Kyrie Irving and try to do what he does,” Mayes said. “I’ll watch it, and then go out and try to do the same thing.”

Absent of a little man syndrome, Mayes just loves to play, and enjoys the challenge. For his size, he’s confident, but he wasn’t always that way.

“The first game, I wanted to see what my teammates and I could do, but after the second game, we were like, ‘Alright, we can do this,’” Mayes said. “We haven’t stopped since.”

Delta Charter hasn’t looked back, winning nine of its first 11 games.

With Mayes on the floor, Taylor feel like an extension of him is out there directing traffic, which makes his job much easier.

“He thinks what I think,” Taylor said. “When I say get in zone or run man, he’s already doing it. If a kid runs the wrong way, he’ll stop it right there in the game, and say, ‘Set it back up.’”

Taylor said what makes Mayes great is his want to succeed. Mayes doesn’t concern himself with leading the team in points or assists, he simply does what’s asked.

“I’m just worried about the ‘W,’” Mayes said.

 

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