-Marcelo Maziero, Sports Editor
Tory Rice’s first experience with a basketball was when he was a very little child, but it happened at home, not on a school court. His father, Terry Drane, came home with a basketball in his hand, gave it to Rice and said, “Have fun with it.” Since then, Rice has been playing basketball.
His first games were against his young friends and cousins just for fun, and at that time, Rice had no idea of the importance that the sport would have in his life. According to Rice, he chose basketball as his sport because he grew up around it; his dad used to play, and several friends and family members also played. In his words, “Basketball was in my blood at a young age.”
Rice said that basketball plays a tremendous role in his life and gives him the motivation he needs to keep winning and get better. “Growing up, I used to play it for fun and now that I am older, I finally realize that I can have a career in basketball. So not only do I play it for fun, I also play it to win and get better”.
He played for coach Greg Carter at Starkville High School, Miss. where he was named the team’s “Best Rebounder,” and for coach Grant Pate at Otawamba Community College, Miss., where he maintained an average of 10 points and eight rebounds per game. Currently playing for the Mississippi College basketball team, he was able to increase his numbers to an average of 16 points and nine rebounds per game, the highest in the Choctaws team this season.
Rice is now in his junior year at MC, majoring in criminal justice. He says that his first concern is his education, then basketball. “I chose Mississippi College because they have a great criminal justice program. I was looking towards my education first, instead of playing basketball. I felt like if I can get a good education here at MC, then basketball will come,” he said.
In response to Mississippi College’s move to Division II, Rice said he is confident and motivated, practicing hard and giving his best to help MC win every game they play. In his opinion, MC is a great school and is prepared to face this challenge. “My thoughts about MC going Division II are good; I feel that MC is a good enough school to do that. Also the competition level in sports is very high, but nothing that MC can’t compete,” Rice said.