Ben Paist thought he would never be able to set foot on the basketball court in compeititon again, but last Saturday provided an opportunity for the Myrtle graduate, whose senior year was cut short after a car accident.
Surviving a wreck with a train in January, Paist knew he would not be able to finish the season with the Hawks, but he was given one more chance to play in last weekend’s Northeast Mississippi Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game at Northeast.
“Being selected for this game was truly an honor,” he said. “So many people, even doctors, told me that my basketball career was over, and by the grace of God, I’ve been given one more chance to come out here and play for Jonathan Ashley. It means a lot, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity.”
Ashley, along with East Union coach Tim McDonald, coached the 1A/2A boys’ team from the East, which included Ingomar’s Devonte Williamson and Henry Foster, East Union’s Dontrell Lattimore and Paist, along with former Hawk teammate Robert Montgomery.
“Playing with the guys who made All-County meant a lot,” Paist said. “They were all there after my accident, and I’ve wanted so bad to be back on the court playing with and against them.”
Paist scored two points and had a rebound in the East’s 73-52 win. Montgomery was named the game’s MVP, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Williamson with the Offensive MVP, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Other scorers in the game include Lattimore with six points, four rebounds and Foster with 13 points, five rebounds.
Meshay Cox and Ashley Leach played in the 1A/2A girls’ game, which opened the day. Cox finished with six points and nine rebounds, while Leach scored four points and three rebounds.
Rounding out county selections was New Albany’s Jazmine Spears, who had 10 points and eight reb. in the 3A-6A game.