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Celebrity Basketball Game/Back to School Drive was one for the books



Back to school drive
Photo by Ced Tillman

The Vicksburg community turned out in droves over the weekend for the exhilarating seventh edition of the annual celebrity basketball game and back-to-school drive.

“Everything was a complete success and we had a lot of positive energy and we have major plans of moving forward,”’Jeremi Meekins said.

Jeremi Meeks

Jeremi Meekins and Jay Jones: Photo by Keith Phillips

Vicksburg native Jeremi Meekins raised the bar once more by hosting the event at Vicksburg High School on Sunday. The turnout was approximately 800 people, setting a new record for the event’s highest-ever attendance.

As the school year is rapidly drawing near, more than 800 book bags, coupled with school supplies for students, were generously distributed.

Back to school drive

Over 800 book bags: Photo by Keith Phillips


Back to school drive

Photo by Ced Tillman

Representatives from Jackson State, Alcorn, Mississippi Valley State, Mississippi State and Belhaven University were all in attendance.

Back to school drive

Malcolm Butler: Photo by Ced Tillman

The highly anticipated basketball tournament began midway through the event, resulting in Team YBN clinching the championship trophy. Local basketball icons such as Mychal Ammons, Johnathan Phelps, Malcolm Butler and Mario Doyle graced the court, each contributing significantly to the scoreboard.

Back to school drive

Mychal Ammons: Photo by Keith Phillips

Former Jackson standouts, Malik Newman and Andre Stringer, also made their presence felt, impressing the crowd with their skills. Thomas “Snack” Lee, the 2020 ESPN ESPYs award winner, and Shaq Buchanan of Madison Central, who played for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2021-2022 season, were also notable attendees.

DJ Kenny Green supplied the entertaining music throughout the Sunday event, creating a lively atmosphere. Food trucks were stationed outdoors while picture booths and a range of vendors, all contributing to the success of this wonderful, cost-free event.

Back to school drive

DJ Kenny Green: Photo by Keith Phillips

Meeks wasn’t alone in orchestrating this exhilarating event. Jessica Hardaway coordinated a host of volunteers, while the City of Vicksburg and Warren County both endorsed his endeavors. The community event was also kept hydrated thanks to Clark Beverage Group, a Mississippi-based Coca-Cola distributor, who supplied Powerade and water.

Meekins pledged that the forthcoming year’s event will be even more remarkable, as he is currently planning to extend support to Rolling Fork, which was recently devastated by severe storms.

Vendors for the Vicksburg back to school drive:

 NAACP, Vicksburg Fire Department , Mississippi Job Corps, LB’s Visual Experience 360.

Sponsors for the Vicksburg back to school drive: Cricket Wireless, Trent Thomas Security, McDonald’s, City of Vicksburg, United way, Waring Oil, Home Depot, Bally’s, Walmart, Patriot Motor Sports, Love Realty, Kirkland Group, Cambridge Trucking, Warren County Board of Supervisors and referees Reverend Casey Fisher, Ben Blue and Andre Carter.

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