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Carter named as the VDN Girl’s Basketball Player of the Year

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Layla Carter: Photo by Alvin Coleman

Layla Carter has been named the Vicksburg Daily News 2022-2023 Girl’s Basketball Player of the Year. Carter, who starred at Vicksburg High School, recently led the Missy Gators to their fourth consecutive district championship under the guidance of head coach Troy Stewart.

At a young age, Carter began playing basketball at the Vicksburg YMCA, where her father helped develop her skills at the beginning. Later, she met trainer Alexus Stirgus, who helped Carter take her talent to another level.

Carter went on to play at Vicksburg Junior High before dominating on the ninth-grade team in 2019-2020, leading the Missy Gators to an undefeated season under freshman head coach Deatra Cable.

“It felt good beating those teams that we lost the the year before and it was a mind switchover thing when we moved up to varsity right after,” Carter said.

She eventually moved up to the varsity team as a freshman and helped VHS make it to the ‘Big House’.

Carter went on to become a starter for the rest of her time at VHS. She was selected as a Dandy Dozen in both her junior and senior year, earning a reputation as one of the quickest players on the court.

“I always looked up to Dandy Dozens and to be named one two years in a row is a good feeling to have and a great accomplishment,” Carter said.

Carter’s ability to drive to the goal easily was her best skill. She went from averaging 12 points per game as a junior to putting up 20 per game as a senior.

One of her most memorable performances was earlier this year against Clinton. The score was tied at 62 before VHS pulled off the win.

“We were down the whole game and I came back in the fourth quarter and with 10 seconds left I made the right pass to Nae (Colenburg) in the corner and she knocked down the 3-pointer to win the game,” Carter said.

With Carter at the top of her game, VHS made a deep run in the playoffs every year, and she quickly became her team’s biggest recruit under Stewart’s leadership.

“He’s a good and I liked playing under him and he led us in the right way,” Carter said.

Carter and the Missy Gators’ season came to an early end in the second round of the playoffs against Holmes County Central.

After receiving numerous offers, Carter chose to sign with the University of Southern Arkansas, where Stirgus serves as an assistant coach.

Carter will have an official signing day soon, and she is now the fourth athlete to receive this award.

“It feels really nice to receive so many awards especially like this one and I want to be able to one day look back and encourage younger athletes and show them how to put in the work,” Carter said.

Layla Carter is the daughter of Kimberley Vaughn and Larry Carter Jr.

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