Class of 2014 Victoria Vivians

It's not often you see true greatness on the basketball court but this past weekend I saw it at Ackerman HS. Scott Central (MS) High School played the No. 2 ranked Oxford Eagles in a tournament game Saturday. The nation's second leading scorer, Victoria Vivians, plays for Scott Central. And despite heavy defensive pressure from the Oxford defense, Victoria still scored 40 points in the game.

Victoria scored every way you could imagine, three-pointers (7 threes), driving layups, creating her own shots and shooting free throws (9-of-11). In addition to her 40 points she also had 13 rebounds and 4 steals. While many folks would have been surprised by what I saw that night, me included, one person who isn't is Scott Central High School head basketball coach Chad Harrison.

"Victoria is just so explosive," said Harrison. "She is 6-foot tall, physically strong and a tremendous athlete. But her mentality and her aggressiveness makes her such a competitor. Her competitiveness on the court is fierce. She is so hardnose and battles so hard.

"She may not always be as smooth as some of these other people. She is kind of a (WNBA pro basketball player) Sheryl Swoopes; she is a little stiff. She stands upright so she is not as smooth as other people. But when you put her in a ballgame, put the ball in her hands or tell her to work for the ball, then she is dynamic."

While a dynamo on the court, she is exactly the opposite off the court.

"(Off the court) she is so quiet and so humble," said Harrison. "She comes from a great, great family that gives her so much support. I think they help so much in this entire process. They are one of my most supportive families. And they do such a great job with her."

She is not only humble but a very good team player as well. Last year, she had a very talented and experienced group of players around her that allowed her to slowly transition to high school ball. But this year's team, due to its inexperience, needed her to step up her game in a big way.

"Last year, she had two players who now play junior college and another girl who signed with Western Kentucky on the team with her," said Harrison. "Now, we are playing with players who are more limited talent-wise. When I tell you she plays everywhere for us, that's what I mean. She plays point guard for us and she plays center for us."

Because Scott Central lost so much of their offense off of last year's team, Harrison had to find more offense. When you have a player as talented as Vivians you know where to look. But it was a work in process early on.

"One thing we had to sell her on this season was for her to be more of a shooter," said Harrison. "We have to have her shoot 30 to 35 shots every game. It took her a while to be willing to do that."

Once other teams figured out she was the main offensive cog for Scott Central, they keyed their defense on Victoria. That's why she is now seeing heavy defensive pressure every game.

"She sees two, three, sometimes four (on defense) every night," said Harrison. "How she scores (30+ and 40+ points) per game, I don't know. She just has a God-given ability. We also do things as a team to get her as open as we possibly can but she faces that kind of defense all the time."

God-given talent is part of the reason she can score 30 to 40 points per game but Harrison and Vivians' teammates also do their part in practice.

"I will say this, in practice we make it very difficult for her," said Harrison. "At practice she is constantly playing against two and three people because that is what she is seeing every night in games."

As you would expect, with a player as talented as Victoria, college recruiters have quickly learned where Scott Central High School is located.

"It's a who's who (of college coaches) right now because we might have anybody in practice," said Harrison. "It's an amazing thing. We might have a coach from Georgia in one time, then somebody from LSU or somewhere else in the next time."

As of now, Victoria is keying on playing high school basketball, not recruiting.

"I haven't thought about recruiting," she said. "I don't pay any attention to it. I don't let it get into my head."

Harrison believes she will have her choice of colleges by the time she is a senior.

"Honest to goodness, I think the more she plays it will just be a matter of time with her," said Harrison. "I think she will be able to play almost anywhere she wants to play."

And it's very possible that she will play early and often.

"College coaches tell me that they think the transition for her going from high school to college is going to be very small," said Harrison. "Most of the recruiters tell me she could start for them right now. And to be honest with you, I think she can, too."


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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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