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Lady Tyger shines in showcase before college basketball coaches

      Basketball season is several weeks away but a Mansfield Senior High Lady Tyger already is drawing attention far from home.

      Junior Jayjahnae Feagin was among standout players invited to participate in the 2018 NEO Showcase Sept. 9 at Jackson High School in Massillon. Basketball coaches and scouts from nearly 50 colleges were on hand to assess the skills of 139 sophomore, junior and senior girls who have not committed to where they will play after high school.

      First-year girls varsity coach J.R. Wilson had high praise for Feagin, who began the day with weightlifting and jumping tests. After skill instruction work, Feagin and the other players participated in two scrimmage games.

      Wilson said Feagin “made the most of her opportunity.”

      “Jay represented Senior High very well,” Wilson said. “In the first game she was 3-of-3 from 3-point range and scored 11 points. The next game she did even better and was 5-of-7 from 3-point range and had 19 points. Jay ended up with 30 points between the two games and was 80 percent from 3-point range.”

      Feagin’s performance was no fluke.

      “I worked hard on my shot all summer, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends,” she said. “There were some very good players at the Showcase but I had confidence in myself. I felt like I fit in. My main position is post, but I am comfortable playing anywhere.”

      Feagin, a Mansfield City Schools student since kindergarten, was on the varsity as a sophomore. Wilson is counting on her for an expanded role this season.

      “In my opinion Jay is a born leader and will help our Lady Tygers in this upcoming season,” said Wilson, a varsity coach at other sites for seven years. “I am most definitely looking for her leadership.

      “I’m so very proud of Jay and how she represented our school and team at the NEO Showcase. Many other coaches came up to me and said how impressed they were with her shooting. I’m looking forward to seeing Jay grow this year and next.”

      For her part, Feagin, whose favorite classroom subject is history, expressed confidence in her new coach and said she is ready to help lead the team.

      “I believe we are going to have a successful season,” she said. “I want to see us come together as a team and support each other. I feel like we will accomplish that.”

      Wilson, a paraprofessional at Sherman Elementary School, said Feagin’s skills and attitude reflect the reason he applied for the varsity coaching job.

      “What intrigued me about the Senior High position was that there are a lot of athletes inside this building,” he said. “I try to guide and direct not just basketball but life. When you invest in youth they will respect it and respond.”

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