All-Star showcase set for Monday

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

Daniel Simmons plays basketball in Mississippi’s smallest classification.
But like his coach and his Class 1A champion Biggersville Lions, there is nothing small about his game.
The 6-foot-3 rising senior guard will get to showcase his game Monday at Mississippi College in the Mississippi Association of Coaches North vs. South All-Star Game.
“He gets the ball down the floor as fast as anybody and sees the floor well,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said. “He has an outstanding shot. He’s silky smooth with the ball. He has a good midrange and can finish at the rim.”
The 49th annual girls game is scheduled for 6 p.m. The 59th annual boys game is set for 7:30.
Simmons averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and nearly five assists per game last season as Biggersville made its second straight trip to the 1A finals.
He has an offer from Middle Tennessee State and is getting some attention from Troy and Murray State. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have called, but haven’t chased very hard at this point. He is one of only two players from 1A on the team and one of three Journal-area players in the game. He’ll be joined by Corinth big man Raheem Sorrell and North Pontotoc’s Marcus Green.
“He’s an extremely talented player,” said Booneville coach Michael Smith, who will coach the North boys. “He has a college build. He’s a super athlete and will decide how good he wants to be.”
Four of the 12 players on the girls roster are from the Journal’s coverage area, led by Pontotoc’s Kayla Russell and Kim Mallory of Itawamba AHS.
Simmons’ weaknesses are tough to find, but his shot, as good as it is, could be one of them. A 55-percent shooter last season, his shot is so good it sometimes keeps him from going to the rim, something he’s working on.
“There’s really no weakness to his game,”Little said. “I’d like to see him attack the rim more, but he has an outstanding shot. I’m constantly on him that he could take a game over defensively. He has yet to let loose and could affect a game as much defensively as he does offensively.”
The finals of the 3-point, free throw and dunk contests will precede the games at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5.
brandon.speck@journalinc.com