Prep Baskeball: Parrish duo signs with Itawamba CC
by W. Brian Hale
May 03, 2014 | 1974 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Daily Mountain Eagle - W. Brian Hale
Surrounded by family members and teammates, Parrish’s Jermichael Harris and Barry Hill, center, signed letters of intent with Itawamba Community College at Parrish High School on Wednesday. The pair will play for the Mississippi school next year. Photo by W. Brian Hale
Daily Mountain Eagle - W. Brian Hale Surrounded by family members and teammates, Parrish’s Jermichael Harris and Barry Hill, center, signed letters of intent with Itawamba Community College at Parrish High School on Wednesday. The pair will play for the Mississippi school next year. Photo by W. Brian Hale
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PARRISH — The history-making duo of Jermichael Harris and Barry Hill, who helped lead the Parrish Tornadoes to the 2014 AHSAA State Championship game, are taking their talents to the next level.

The seniors signed their letters-of-intent on Wednesday to play for the Itawamba Community College Indians in Fulton, Mississippi — located 10 miles outside of the City of Tupelo.

Itawamba head coach Grant Pate said signing Harris and Hill represents a great accomplishment for his program. Pate, who has served at the head of the Indians’ program for the past two seasons, was a longtime assistant for coach Rod Barnes at Ole Miss. He guided Itawamba to a 17-10 overall record and was a named the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) coach of the year leading the team into the postseason.

With Mississippi junior colleges limited to just three out of state signings per year, Pate said his program looks for individuals with talent and character, both of which he found in Harris and Hill.

“Jermichael and Barry are winners on and off-the-court. We’re elated to have both of them join the Itawamba family,” Pate said. “These two young men will be staples in our program for us to build around for the next two years. Coach Heath Burns has done just an outstanding job of leading the Parrish program that produces extraordinary players such as both Jermichael and Barry. Our goals for them are to ensure they graduate and continue to hone their stellar skills, so they can move on to a great athletic career at a four-year university.”

Both Parrish seniors captured their share of accolades this season. Hill was MVP of the Walker County, Area 13 and Northwest Region Tournament teams, named to the Final 48 All-Tournament team and the Class 1A All-State team.

He also left his mark in the AHSAA record books for his blocking ability.

Harris, who emerged at the midseason point after an absence from the team, became a catalyst for the Parrish offense and defense, earning spots on the Walker County and Area 13 tournament teams, as well as being named to the Class 1A All-State team as an honorable mention.

Burns said the decision to sign with Itawamba was an excellent choice for both young men.

“Jermichael is such a tremendous leader — I really feel that his best playing days are ahead of him. After two years at Itawamba, I could easily see him being a member of a top-tier Division 1 program,” Burns said.

“With Barry not qualifying to go to Jacksonville State, Itawamba was one of the best options we could ever undertake that will help him even further mold into the star we know he is. It’s also good for both of them to be so close to home — I could see family and a lot of friends taking that quick trip up I-22 to go see them play. Both of them have a great future at Itawamba.”