Photo by Derrick Mahone
Mundy’s Mill senior Darius Sizemore signed a scholarship to play for Alabama State earlier this season. He will play for the South squad in today’s Clayton County All-Star game.
JONESBORO — If Darius Sizemore had his way, he would’ve had his hands on the ball every chance he could got.
Clayton County Senior All-Star Basketball Game
When, where: Today, Drew High
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Format: All-star game with boys and girls game. North squad is players from Drew, Forest Park, Morrow, Riverdale, North Clayton. South squad is players from Mundy’s Mill, Jonesboro, Mount Zion, Lovejoy. There will be a 3-point and slam dunk contest.
The 6-foot-4 inch Mundy’s Mill standout and Alabama State signee said the main thing he regrets about his last season in high school was that he couldn’t do more to put his team in better positions to win.
“I wish I could’ve had the ball in my hand every single time down the floor,” he said. “I felt I could have helped us make better decisions to win more ball games.”
Sizemore seems to have the brain power to make it happen too, if you trust his 3.4 grade point average or his desire to major in mechanical engineering.
He gave up his slot as a quarterback on the Tigers’ football team so he could concentrate more on the sport he feels gives him the best chance to play professionally.
This evening, he will play his final high school game as he participates in the annual Clayton County Senior All-Star Basketball Game at Drew High.
Basketball is the sports he’s loved since he was little — or at least big enough to beat his dad, Ronald and older brother Drevius, a 2012 Mundy’s Mill graduate.
As Darius Sizemore recalls, it was around seventh-grade when he was good enough to beat them consistently. It was around that time he figured he could truly excel at the game.
“I like football and all, and I feel like I could’ve made it in football too,” he said. “But I love basketball. I’ve been playing since I was little in my backyard. I just wanted to fully concentrate on it and see where it took me.”
Even after making the basketball court his permanent home, he found himself making even more changes. For the first time in his four years at Mundy’s Mill, Sizemore found himself playing more away from the basket.
He moved to the two guard position this past season, hoping to get him used to playing in the backcourt in college
“I worked a lot on my shot and how to shoot off the dribble,” he said. “I worked a lot on my crossover dribble. I like to run the floor. I feel like when I’m out on the run I have a license to destroy on my way to the hole.”
The changes apparently worked out for him.
Sizemore said he averaged about 13.5 points per game for Mundy’s Mill, which finished the season at 8-18 on the Class AAAAA level. His body of work was enough to draw the interest of Georgia Southern, Jackson State, Georgia State and even Auburn.
But in the end, he chose Alabama State because of how they pursued him.
“They showed me the most love. They contacted me the most and made me feel like they really wanted me,” he said.
Sizemore will play on the South squad, along with players from Jonesboro, Lovejoy and Mount Zion. The North’s team will be made up athletes from Drew, Forest Park, Morrow, North Clayton and Riverdale.
Sizemore will join Larry Glass and Matthew Brown as the Mundy’s Mill representatives. He’ll also take part in the slam dunk contest with high flyers like Mount Zion’s J.R. Holder, Jonesboro’s Duby Okeke and Drew’s Brandon Clyde.
Brown will represent the Tigers in the Boys 3-point Shootout, and go up against sharpshooters like Morrow’s Josiah Adams and Jonesboro’s Casey Wells.
Mundy’s Mill point guard Moneshia Dyer will represent for the girls and be pitted against the likes of Forest Park’s Tequilla Richardson, and Jonesboro’s Victoria Florence.
“It’s going to feel good to do this,” Sizemore said. “It’s going to be good competition. I’m going to have a great time playing out here with other guys from around here that I’ve played against. I think playing with all these great players will just make me even better.”