Basketball down to his Cor

Published 9:15 pm Monday, March 26, 2012

Former Washington basketball star Cor-J Cox is set to graduate from Mississippi Valley State on May 5 and is determined to keep his dreams of playing professional basketball alive. (Photo Courtesy of MVSU Sports Information)

The man who soars through the air like a Delta 747 knows a lot about going above and beyond.
When Cor-J Cox graduated Washington High School in 2007 he was a lightly recruited 6-5 pogo stick of a basketball player spring-loaded with potential and packed with a love for the game. Destined to prove to recruiters and college coaches alike that he had what it takes to play college basketball at a high level, Cox packed his bags and went to Chicago’s Olney Central Junior College to put his ability on display.
The move was a slam dunk.
“Coming out of high school I didn’t know what I was going to do or who was looking at me,” Cox said. “So I had to expose myself; go out and showcase myself.”
All it took was one season with the Blue Knights for bigger programs to come calling. In the end, Cox accepted a scholarship at Mississippi Valley State University, the school made famous by NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, over walking-on at Louisville.
For the next three years he worked on maxing out the potential of his 6’5”, 190-pound frame and the result was senior year that Cox will remember even when he is a senior.
The Delta Devils would go 21-13 and win the Southwest Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships, which booked the high-flyer a ticket to the NCAA tournament play-in game where MSVU battled Western Kentucky in front of President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Dave Cameron in a nationally televised game.
“It was an honor,” Cox said of playing in front of the president. “But I wanted to make sure he had fun watching me play.”
It would have been impossible not to. The game was thrilling even though Cox’s team was on the wrong side of a historical collapse as MSVU let a 16-point lead with five minutes left in the game slip out of their hands to fall 59-58 to the Hilltoppers. It was the largest deficit overcome in the final five minutes of a game in tournament history up to that point.
The former WHS star would finish the contest scoring 10 points and pulling down seven boards in 27 minutes of action.
Cox’s final year at MSVU was memorable in a lot of ways as the former WDN All-Area first-teamer had a breakout season, averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds a night to earn all-SWAC first-team honors while being named the conference tournament MVP.
“My time here has been an honor and a blessing,” Cox said. “It taught me a lot and helped me mature.”
Cox, who racked up 846 points, 490 rebounds, 345 assists and 149 steals in his time with the Pam Pack, is scheduled to graduate on May 5 with a bachelors degree in science.
“It’s going to be a dream come true,” Cox said. “To graduate as champs of the SWAC regular season and conference tournament is a blessing.”
Cox also counts the people that have helped him get to where he is now as a blessing, like his mother Shelia Cox and his aunt Latonya Isom and his grandparents Clara and Kenneth Davis.
While his degree is in science, Cox knows a thing or two about history and the athletic forward, whose footage of his highlight dunks can be found on YouTube, is certainly hoping that it repeats itself one more time.
Like when he graduated Washington High, Cox, whose love for basketball is as off the charts as his vertical leap, feels his ability is being overlooked by the shot-callers on the next level and is not ready to let the alarm sound on his hoop dreams. So once again, he is committed to going above and beyond to prove himself.
“Basketball is not done yet. It’s not over,” Cox said. “I’m just staying humble and waiting for my moment where I can showcase my talent again and get to play on the next level. My main focus is on going to camps and some combines and just playing my heart out like I usually do.
“I’m going to make it. I’ve always said it and so far everything I’ve said has come true. It’s not over with.”