Haley Vick of the Northeast Mississippi Community College women’s basketball program is being honored for the tremendous impact that she has made in the lives of so many individuals.
Vick was selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, which is presented each year to athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional levels that are outstanding role models.
She is the only student-athlete from a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) affiliated institution and the lone representative from any school in the Magnolia State to be recognized as either a finalist or a semifinalist for this distinguished accolade.
“It has been a blessing to have a player of Haley’s Caliber,” said Lady Tigers head coach Brenda Mayes. “She is dedicated, hardworking, dependable and very respectful. These attributes are displayed on-and-off the basketball court.
“Haley’s character is impeccable. I never had to worry about her. She understands her role and she just keeps on pushing to be her best. She will do whatever she needs to help her teammates prosper.”
Vick’s community service dates back to her days at Pine Grove High School, where she won three Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 1A state championships and was the 2018 Tippah County Player of the Year.
She has spent countless hours at the Tippah County Nursing Home in Ripley, especially around Christmastime. She has donated a Christmas tree, decorations, presents and sang carols for the elderly at that facility.
Vick coordinated and operated a bake sale with the proceeds benefitting kids at Memphis, Tenn., based Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. She has also served as an after school tutor plus collected and delivered essential items to local families in need.
She is very involved in religious activities. Vick has volunteered at multiple “Vacation Bible Schools” and has helped raise money so that children at Mount View Church could attend summer events at Camp Lake Stephens in Oxford.
Vick has sponsored a Christmas angel, which provided gifts to a child whose family needed assistance during the holidays. She has worked a health fair at the Tippah County Vocational and Technical Center as well.
She joined fellow members of the Northeast women’s basketball team last fall to write notes of encouragement and praise to other girls around the world as part of The Letter Project.
Vick steadily improved during her sophomore campaign with the Lady Tigers. She finished third on the team in both scoring and rebounding with 7.5 points and 4.5 boards per contest.
The Ripley native set a career-high with 20 points, including a 6 of 10 showing from three-point range, during Northeast’s final outing before the Christmas break at Shelton State (Ala.) Community College.
Vick was the only player to start in each game during the 2019-20 campaign for the Lady Tigers. She averaged 28.7 minutes on the floor, which was second most on the squad behind only Tekeria Newson.
The Ripley native served in a reserve role as a freshman, but did appear in all but one of Northeast’s 24 total contests. She posted a season-best 10 points in a victory over Northwest Mississippi Community College inside legendary Bonner Arnold Coliseum.
Vick is successful in the scholastic realm as well. She was named to the NJCAA All-Academic Third Team in 2019 for maintaining a grade point average (GPA) between 3.6 and 3.79 on a 4.0 scale.
She was also a 2019 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) Academic All-State recipient. Vick’s GPA at the conclusion of her inaugural year on the Booneville campus was a sensational 3.78.
John Wooden, who is commonly considered one of the greatest coaches of all-time at any level after winning ten men’s basketball national championships at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), gave Athletes for a Better World (ABW) permission to present an award that bore his name.
The ABW’s Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is open to college athletes in all sports across all divisions. It is regarded as one of the highest awards in intercollegiate athletics for this reason.