Pollard powers forward
By Amanda Lowrance
McNairy Central’s 6-foot-4 senior, powerhouse post player, Rameil Pollard finished the season with a bang. He led the Bobcat team through the postseason tournaments and ended as the leading scorer in McNairy County, finishing his senior season with an average of 18.9 points per game.
“This year, Rameil accepted the role of being our go-to-player and filled that role greatly,” said Bobcat coach Steve Forsythe, “He has always been the most unselfish player on the floor, always looking for the open man. He brought his best to our biggest games as evidenced by his play in our four tournament games.”
The All-District and All-Tournament Team member scored a total of 105 points and grabbed 35 rebounds in the four postseason games alone.
“Rameil has grown tremendously in his knowledge of the game,” said Forsythe. “His ability to keep his cool during heated moments on the floor is great proof of that.”
But Pollard did not become a dynamic player overnight. His parents and former Bobcats, Rashaun and Cherlene Pollard, made a big impact in his basketball career.
The Pollards met at McNairy Central High School as a freshman. Later, Mr. Pollard graduated from MCHS and went to Northeast Mississippi Community College on a two-year basketball scholarship.
Pollard’s most memorable moment in his career was when he joined the MCHS 1,000 Point Club in January along with his father, who became a member in 1992 and graduated with a total of 1,437 points.
“He has been my inspiration,” said Pollard. “The best moment in my career was when I reached 1,000 points.”
Playing against the No. 2 state-ranked Liberty Tech Crusaders on the road, Pollard scored 18 points and crossed over into the upper echelon of MCHS basketball elites.
“I feel he has done a lot over the years to improve his talent, strength, and mind to advance to get to the next level,” said Mrs. Pollard, “He really gives it his all.”
Beginning as a six-year-old playing as part of the Selmer Hoops Junior Pro Team, Pollard’s mother coached him along the way by providing guidance and support.
“I taught him to have a positive attitude and to take the good aspects of basketball with the bad.”
Even at a young age and entering into the new world of basketball, Pollard remembers his team finishing as League Champions in his first year of playing.
Entering high school, Pollard sported the No. 23 jersey while playing along side his older brother Rakivias until his junior year. The two were a powerful force on the court and when Rakivias moved on Pollard wore his No. 33 jersey the remaining two years at MCHS.
“I have numerous memories of Rameil in games,” said Forsythe. “He hit a free throw against Fayette-Ware his sophomore year to win the game. His dunk off of a full court pass from Jordan (Burton) during last year’s Adamsville game and his great reaction to CJ’s (Barnes) dunk at the end of this year’s home game versus Fayette-Ware.”
After four years of dazzling the bleacher crowds with slam-dunks, alley-oops, fast breaks and finger rolls, Pollard’s total career statistics include a whopping 1,303 points, 676 rebounds, 117 steals, 102 assists, and 66 blocks.
“Rameil has grown this year as a young man and I look forward to watching him play somewhere next year,” said Forsythe.
Pollard was one of six seniors to play in their last game Saturday night. Not only will he be leaving his school, he will be leaving his lifelong friends.
“My career at MCHS has been great. I have to thank coaches Steve Forsythe, Tim Campbell, and Phil Shumpert for all their help.” said Pollard, “The worst part about leaving is I am going to miss the coaches, my friends, and my team.”
After graduation, Pollard wishes to major in physical therapy and take his basketball career to the collegiate level and maybe one day to the NBA.
Mississippi State University and Arkansas State University have sparked Pollard’s interest and have made contact with him, but he has not signed or made any agreements yet.