When Covington senior Brandon Alston was in the 10th grade, he would sometimes watch highlights of NBA center DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins before games.
He always played well after watching those videos.
“So, ever since then, I’ve been having my coaches and teammates call me Boogie,” Alston said.
Alston isn’t quite playing to the level of Cousins, a four-time NBA all-star and Olympic gold medalist, but he took a step in that direction Monday when he accepted a basketball scholarship to Mississippi Delta Community College.
Coaches from the school, which is located in Moorhead, Miss., recruited Alston throughout his senior season.
“Yesterday I asked them what the offer was,” Alston said. “They said full scholarship so I was like, ‘You gotta take that. Can’t pass that up.'”
Alston, a 6-6 forward who was the District 15-AA most valuable player, averaged 17.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game during the 2019-20 season. He helped the Chargers to regular season and district tournament titles. Covington finished the season with a loss to the state’s top-ranked team, Jackson South Side, in the sectionals, one win away from a state tournament berth.
Covington head coach Charles Mitchell said Alston’s upside is what made him attractive to colleges.
“He has so much unlimited potential,” Mitchell said. “Brandon really just started playing basketball in the ninth grade. He grew two or three inches and I think he’s still growing. He’s still learning the game, still very raw. He’s just got to tap into the potential. I think the sky is the limit for him if he can get it all together.”
Alston said Mississippi Delta coaches have told him he will play small forward or power forward in college.
“I have to give all thanks to God, first,” Alston said. “All of my coaches and teammates, they all stayed on me since I was a freshman. I thank them so much for everything they’ve done.”
Mississippi Delta’s roster is made up primarily of players from Mississippi and Alston has yet to visit the campus, but he’s not worried about starting fresh in an unfamiliar place.
“I think it’s going to be good for me,” he said. “I’m the type to branch out and talk to people, so I think it’ll be good.”
“He’s got to learn the college game and get stronger, both mentally and physically,” Mitchell said. “He’s just raw and that’s a great thing because the ceiling is so high with him … He’s great in class, a good person who’s learning to do the right things. If he puts his mind to it he should do well.”
Three other Covington seniors – guards Travontae Powell and Martez Logan and forward Tyjuan Smith – are also being recruited. Walters State Community College has been in contact with Smith, Dyersburg State has recruited Logan and Powell, who led Covington in scoring last season at 19 points per game, has been targeted by some schools.
“I think they’re going to sign somewhere before it’s all over,” Mitchell said.