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All Metro Boys Player of the Year: Travion Jones dominates scoring column

Wilkinson County’s Travion Jones ranked sixth in the state in points per game with 24. (Matt Sigler / The Natchez Democrat)

Wilkinson County’s Travion Jones ranked sixth in the state in points per game with 24. (Matt Sigler / The Natchez Democrat)

WOODVILLE — Travion Jones is determined to be a household name.

What makes that unique is he just completed his sophomore season at Wilkinson County.

“Travion Jones is a special type of player,” Wilkinson County head coach Julius Anderson said. “He has the drive, is willing to put in the work and takes criticism well. He understands that he is young and has a lot of growing to do, but he is willing to put in the work to do that.”

Jones had to grow up quickly this past season as he was relied upon heavily to lead the Wildcats.

En route to being selected as the 2015 All-Metro Boys Player of the Year, Jones put up big-time numbers, averaging 24 points per game and eight rebounds per game.

His 24 points per game led all of Class 3A and ranked sixth statewide.

“Travion is that type of player that can take over at any time,” Anderson said. “It all depends on what our situation is. He can drive, he can shoot, and at the end of the year, he started dunking on people.”

Jones, who mainly played power forward this season, barely reaches the 6-foot mark in height, but that didn’t discourage him from fighting down low with some of the tallest around.

“Size doesn’t matter to me,” Jones said. “I just play through it.”

Jones “played through” many opponents this season, including Franklin County, who he highlighted as his career-game.

“That was the best game I ever played,” he said. “I scored my career-high 39 points and had 10-plus rebounds.”

It was also a moment against Franklin County, this time on the road, that Jones said will stick with him for years to come.

“My big moment is when I dunked on Franklin County at their house,” Jones said. “It was wild. The crowd reacted and that was the big changing play of the game.”

While Jones’ scoring is the statistic that will open many eyes, Anderson said his game is more wide spread than just that.

“He leads the way,” Anderson said. “He is going to go out and do what it takes to get the team a win. If that means him scoring 39 points, he’ll do it. If that means him getting 15 assists, he’ll do it, or 20 rebounds, he’ll do it. Whatever it takes, Travion will do it.”

Just like Jones, who began his high school career last season, Anderson was right alongside him, taking his first steps as a high school coach. He said having a player like Jones, both this year and last, has been a blessing for a first-time coach.

“He started his high school career and I started my coaching career on the same day,” Anderson said. “So it was good for us to grow together, and that is one reason why this team and program will be successful in years to come. Me being able to coach him is special, because that means the program will only get better. He accelerates us.”

Jones said despite having all eyes on him all the time, he never felt much pressure during the season.

“I knew that any one of us could step up and be a leading scorer,” he said. “It helped having all the players and coaches motivating me.”

While the future for Wilkinson County, who finished 9-14 this past season, appears bright, the potential of Jones is through the roof.

“I see Travion being able to go into any college program and help them win,” Anderson said. “Travion Jones will make a name for himself. That is one of the main reasons he wears No. 24. He looked up to Devin Voorhies last year with number five, and he and I were talking and I told him I wanted him to make his own name, so that is why he went with it.”

As for Jones, himself, he just wants to do anything he can to get Wilkinson County to the top.

“I see there is going to be a big change for us,” he said. “We are going to step up and do something big for Wilkinson County.”