STARKVILLE -- Maroon and white. Maroon and gray. Maroon and black.
There are so many color combinations that Jazmine Spears can wear a different piece of Mississippi State women's basketball apparel almost every day.
After waiting two years to get to Starkville, Spears plans to make the most of her next two years and mix and match tops and bottoms to create a lasting impression.
It's easy to detect the passion in Taylor Chisolm's voice.
A few years ago, soccer would have been the topic of conversation. After all, Chisolm set a school record for goals in a season as a senior at Caledonia High School in 2009. His exploits helped lead the Confederates to a school-best 14-5 record and the Class 4A North Half title game.
Since then, though, Chisolm has found a new hobby, or passion, to occupy some of his spare time. Don't think for one second that just because you might not have heard of the sport -- disc golf -- Chisolm isn't as passionate about it as he was about soccer.
In fact, if you know Chisolm, he might be even more consumed with disc golf than he ever was about soccer.
Aaron Gordon is always looking for ways to grow the sport of soccer.
When you're trying to build a successful program in one of the nation's most competitive conference, it's natural to try to find a way to use the momentum from another top team to help you generate enthusiasm.
Gordon and the Mississippi State women's soccer program will try to do that at 6 tonight when they play host to a Women's World Cup watch party for the match between the United States and Japan at Buffalo Wild Wings on Highway 12 in Starkville.
Allison Woolbright can recall being in gymnasiums as far back as her memory allows.
If Woolbright had to guess, that's probably where she developed her love for sports and her competitive spirit.
It also helped that Woolbright's mother, Rachel Prater Meacham, worked as a volleyball coach at Millport (Ala.) and South Lamar high schools, which is where Allison honed her skills as a volleyball and as a basketball player.
STARKVILLE -- Jazzmun "Jazz" Holmes isn't going to let her relative inexperience hold her back.
Going up against speedsters like Morgan William and Roshunda Johnson every day in practice should be just the test Holmes needs to make a quick adjustment to the Mississippi State women's basketball team.
STARKVILLE -- Zion Campbell usually is one of the tallest players on the basketball court.
At 6-foot-3, Campbell has grown accustomed to having her way in the post, whether it has been at Riverdale Baptist School (Md.), St. John's College (Washington, D.C.) High School, or Hilton Head (S.C.) High.
Part of "owning" the paint involves knowing how to throw your weight around and to bang bodies with opponents to get position for rebounds or to set yourself up close to the basket for an easy shot.
It has taken only a few weeks for Campbell to realize she likely will have to try to new way to utilize her size to help her make an impact on the Mississippi State women's basketball team.
WEST POINT -- The stories have blended into each other throughout the years.
"You must be passionate, you must dedicate yourself, and you must be relentless in the pursuit of your goals. If you do, you will be successful."
-- a tweet by Mississippi State women's basketball transfer Roshunda Johnson on May 27
STARKVILLE -- Roshunda Johnson knows the power of social media.
That knowledge was part of her motivation for the tweet that served as her unofficial welcome announcement to the Mississippi State women's basketball team.
Robert Woodard II has seen a lot of sights and learned plenty of valuable lessons in the past month.
Between traveling to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and to Bahia Blanca, Argentina, to represent the United States in the FIBA Americas Championship, many of those lessons involved basketball.
Each time, the Columbus High School rising sophomore passed his test and played an integral role in helping the USA Basketball Men's U16 National Team win its fourth championship in the biennial tournament that was launched in 2009.
Team USA's 77-60 victory against Canada on Sunday night presented Woodard II and his teammates with a new challenge: Getting their gold medals through airport security.
Jeffrey Bryan Dean was ready for a new challenge two years ago.
Dean's Letcher County Central (Ky.) High School baseball team was coming off a trip to the state tournament and a 29-win season. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which doesn't have size classifications to separate smaller schools from larger ones, it was natural for Dean's success with the Cougars attracted attention and earned him interest from other schools that were looking for a baseball coach.
Don Rowe always knew Leatrice "Lee" Holliday had the "gift for gab."
Whether it was in a 30-second timeout during a basketball game or in a break in the football or baseball action at Aberdeen High School, Rowe witnessed Holliday's ability to take control of a situation with his knack for selling himself.
Even after years of playing softball, Cara Hopper knew she was going to have to make an adjustment when she started her college career at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
Robert Woodard II usually doesn't need a lot of time to make an adjustment.
But when news breaks like the Columbus High School rising sophomore received Tuesday, it takes a little time for it to sink in.
Teaira McCowan set a goal to earn All-America honors during her senior year at Brenham (Texas) High School.
When McCowan wasn't invited to the McDonald's All-American Game, the 6-foot-7 center thought the chances of realizing her goal had ended.
But a phone call Monday afternoon from Mississippi State women's basketball associate head coach Johnnie Harris changed McCowan's thinking and informed her she was one of 30 girls named to the Parade All-America team.
Mary Virginia "Gigi" Fields has been playing tennis for only three years.
But it takes only a few seconds before the Heritage Academy rising freshman offers an important qualifier.
"(It has been) two years seriously," Fields said.
That's not a lot of time in any sport, but Fields' use of "seriously" shows how her thinking toward the sport changed following a conversation with Heritage Academy tennis coach Billy Clark. The talk came prior to Fields' seventh-grade year, which was her first season on the team.
Eric Crawford II had worked too hard in pursuit of his dream to play college baseball not to continue to believe.
The Columbus Municipal School District is moving ahead with plans to fill several coaching vacancies at Columbus High School.
Vic Schaefer always is prepared to coach better and to teach better.
Matt Insell's teams are going to continue to play defense and a full-court trapping style.
As much as the Mississippi State and Ole Miss women's basketball coaches like to have time to study and to adjust to changes in their game, they are ready for a host of changes that could be enacted next month when the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel meets for a conference call June 8. That's when that panel will discuss rules changes that were recommended earlier this month by the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee.
Lee Boyd is fond of saying the New Hope High School baseball team always has to have one guy step up.
Will Godfrey took that notion to heart last week in one of the Trojans' biggest moments of the season. Locked in a scoreless tie with Oxford in the bottom of the seventh inning in Game 2 of their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State title series, Godfrey turned on a fastball middle in and smacked it over the left-field fence to lift New Hope to a 1-0 walk-off victory.
The win helped New Hope force a winner-take-all Game 3 in Oxford that originally was scheduled for Friday, but rain forced it to be delayed until Saturday. In Game 3, Oxford earned a 10-3 victory that ended New Hope's season and its quest for a third-straight Class 5A championship.
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