A rose to Columbus’s own Robert Woodard, who was the 40th player chosen in Wednesday’s NBA Draft. Woodward was selected by the Sacramento Kings, the 10th player chosen in the second round, foregoing his final two seasons of eligibility at Mississippi State to become the second Columbus native chosen in the NBA draft in 40 years (Andrew Toney, first round, 1985 by the Philadelphia 76ers). No matter how his pro career turns out, it’s worth considering what an achievement the draft represents. Of the three major pro sports, the NBA is the most difficult to become a draft pick, with just two rounds (60 players) and 510 total roster spots available. The odds of a high school senior being chosen in the draft is a microscopic .03 percent. Wednesday’s draft is a testament not only to Woodard’s talent and potential but years of dedicated training required to join perhaps the most elite athletic fraternity in the world. Columbus and MSU folks take vicarious pleasure in this remarkable achievement and wish him the best in his pro career.
A rose to David Little and Jason Walker, both of whom have announced they will not be seeking third terms on the Starkville Board of Aldermen when the city holds its municipal elections in 2021. Little announced his decision during Tuesday’s BOA meeting, prompting Walker to announce his decision publicly. Walker has said privately he would not seek a third term earlier this year. Little and Walker served during a tumultuous yet productive period in the city’s history, a period that included controversial issues of LGBTQ and civil rights, annexation and an ambitious expansion of the city’s parks. The two often disagreed on policy, but both men were guided by genuine beliefs about what was best for the city. Their departure allows for new members and new ideas to step forward. The city will be well-served if the new members follow the examples set by Little and Walker. We thank them for their service to the community.
A rose to the nine member committee chosen to establish a new mascot for Caledonia schools. The committee was formed early in the school year after the school district voted to retire the school’s old mascot (The Confederates since 1957) this summer in an effort to rally the school behind a more inclusive mascot. Although there was still some allegiance to the old mascot, even on the committee, the process was conducted in such a way to turn a potential bitter task into a positive, encouraging assignment. The committee was made up of four students (Lucy Willcutt, Lisa Bassett, Will Donald and Jarvis Leigh), principals of the elementary, middle and high schools (Roger Hill, Karen Pittman, Gregory Elliott) and two community members (Myrtle Burke and Tari Shields), which chose three finalist from among more than a dozen submissions: Cavaliers, Cardinals and Commodores. Students from each grade voted for their choice with Cavaliers capturing 57 percent of the vote and becoming the new mascot. Let’s hear it for the Cavaliers and the new chapter in Caledonia’s history the new mascot represents.