Naylon has unfinished business at Itawamba
Sat. February 18, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | By Barry Allen
LaPrecious Naylon, a former Greene County High star, is averaging 15.2 points per game for Itawamba. (Photo by Itawamba College)
TUSCALOOSA | LaPrecious Naylon has two distinctive goals as her junior college basketball season comes to end.
Naylon wants to win a state and national championship, something she has not done in her basketball career, which began as a seventh grader at Greene County High School.
"I have started on the varsity since seventh grade," Naylon said. "We made it to the regionals every year, but we never won a championship. That is something that I really want. I want a ring. We have that opportunity this year. That is something that I really, really want.
"It will mean the world to me to get a ring. I have been trying to win a championship ever since I have been playing the game."
More importantly, she wants to continue in improve in her academics and earn a scholarship to play basketball next season at the NCAA level.
"I am working on my grades every day," Naylon said. "I am trying to get those up so I can play at the next level. If I can earn a scholarship to college, it would be the happiest moment of my life."
Naylon said she is getting interest from West Alabama, West Georgia, West Florida and Montevallo.
There is still unfinished business on the court too. Naylon has led Itawamba Community College to a 19-2 record, including a 10-0 mark in the MAJCA North Division. The only two losses have come at the hands of Shelton State Community College. The Indians lost to the Lady Bucs 88-61 on Nov. 3 in Tuscaloosa and dropped a 77-72 decision at home on Nov. 26.
The Indians wrapped up the Northern Division championship with an 87-67 win over Northeast Mississippi on Thursday. Naylon scored 17 points in the win. Itawamba will host the MAJCA state championships, beginning Feb. 27. The winner advances to the Region XXIII Championship, which will be held March 7-10. The Region XXIII champion then moves onto the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Naylon is averaging 15.6 points and 6.1 assists per game, a figure that ranks 12th nationally among Division I JuCo teams. She also averages 3.5 rebounds and one steal per game.
"She is doing a really good job," Itawamba head coach Nanci Gray said. "She has become a floor leader. She does a great job for us and our kids have a great deal of confidence in her.
"She can score and she will get the ball to the rim. She is good with dribble penetration and she can hit the three, although that is not her forte. She can set things up and she does a really good job of getting the ball where it needs to be."
Naylon was a six-year starter at Greene County High School, before she signed with the Indians. She said she fell in love with the game at an early age and enjoys playing the sport.
"I’ve been playing varsity basketball since I was in the sixth grade," Naylon added. "I love to play basketball. I play in the rain. I play when it’s hot. I just love to play."
And to her, playing the game has a nice ring to it.