COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — He once was a little pudgy. Now he’s turning into a force on the court. And he hopes to turn his combination of basketball and classroom skills into a college degree. In this week’s Student Athlete of the Week, WCBI’s Jonathan Flippo introduces a budding star at Columbus High.
The season is young but Columbus High’s Demetrice Clopton already is getting some attention as a center and power forward for the school’s basketball team. He may be soft spoken but veteran Columbus High Head Basketball Coach Sammy Smith has plenty to say about the young man.
“He’s a great kid. back in the 8th and 9th grade he was 5’10 two hundred thirty to two hundred forty pounds. Now he’s 6’7 two fifteen and he’s taken care of his body. He’s an ambition of being an excellent level of player. I think he has all the chances in the world,” said Sammy Smith.
The 17-year-old Junior has come a long way in a few short years. Now he has his sights on the future.
“I would like to play with Kentucky. I think I can play to the highest level there is and I don’t think there’s any team that plays you know like that. Ihe level of play they play I like it,” said Demetrice Clopton.
Off the court, Clopton says he doesn’t favor any one subject over another. He says he knows all are important, but teammate Chris Deloach appreciates his leadership.
“He works hard. effort, mental toughness. He’s just a great player from my perspective. He’s an honor student in the classroom. He’s very good in the classroom. He stays on task and stays on what he needs to do to play ball so he can get his grades down in class,” said Chris Deloach.
Coach Smith says Clopton has his priorities right.
“Academics, which we he’s a great student. he is doing well in the classroom and keeps working. You have to keep working on your craft and keep a good attitude. He’s in the gym all the time. He’s calling me on Saturday, calling me on Sunday coach I want to get some shots up and what can I do to get better. These are the things it takes because when coaches come in and watch these guys play they see that part of them. They don’t have to see a coach always push a kid. They see a kid pushing himself and that’s when you become a good player and become a good person,” said Sammy Smith.
Smith says that’s what makes his future bright.