RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi’s premier high school basketball showcase is back for a second year at St. Andrew’s Episcopal school, and couldn’t be happier.
The annual “Rumble in the South”, now in its 12th year, is scheduled for Monday, celebrating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with seven exciting match-ups featuring some of the best teams and players in the state.
“Basketball is important to Mississippi,” says event organizer Oscar Miskelly. “Sports is critical to Mississippi in that it is a unifier. And we need more unifiers. We need more walls torn down instead of built.”
14 teams will compete Monday inside St. Andrew’s Athletic and Recreation Center, a building Miskelly says costs nearly $15 million dollars to construct.
“Last year, we moved it (the Rumble in the South) to St. Andrew’s”, says Miskelly. “We thought a temporary move, but it was such a great atmosphere... Standing room only, couldn’t get a ticket. We really created a demand. So we really decided to come back this year to repeat that, and I think we’ll be here every year from here on.”
The invited teams cover the Jackson metro area, DeSoto County, the Golden Triangle, and the Pine Belt.
“We start getting calls after the event in February about ‘We’re going to have a great team next year, you need to consider us,’" says Miskelly on the interest of teams wanting to play in the Rumble in the South. "It is a hyped event that people do want to be a part of every year.
Monday’s schedule for the Rumble in the South:
10:30 - Jackson Academy vs. St Joe
12:00 - MRA vs. Hartfield Academy
1:30 - Murrah vs. Oak Grove
3:00 - Petal vs. Center Hill
4:30 - Forest Hill vs. Starkville
6:00 - Raymond vs. Callaway
7:30 - St. Andrew’s vs. Wingfield