JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Calvin Temple was named first team all-state after leading Center Hill to a 2019 5A State Title.
His biggest accolade, garnering USA Today’s Mississippi Player of the Year honors, but his journey to the top was far from easy.
“It’s just being from where I’m from, a product of our environment,” Temple said. “Everybody from Memphis and Olive Branch, we just get caught up in the same stuff, the streets. Our parents can’t afford workouts and stuff like that. I feel like that’s why I was slept on where I’m from. I didn’t have that outlet. I had to get it out of the mud, I didn’t have a handout.”
“There were some situations I felt I wasn’t going to get out of. It was some times where I had to call my mama to get me out of jail and basketball saved me.”
After one season at Louisiana at Lafayette, Temple decided to transfer to Jackson State.
“When I left Lafayette, he was like the first one to call me, like ‘we need you.’ It wasn’t want you, it was need you,” said Temple. “I was getting calls from other programs, but I didn’t feel that need. It felt like I want you here. I needed a place where I needed to be at and they needed me because after this it was probably over with. I was just going to be back at home in Olive Branch, Memphis not doing nothing.”
“I think he brings leadership, I think he’s a guy that’s played Division I basketball before,” said Jackson State head men’s basketball coach Wayne Brent. “He’s played at a high level, not a guy that didn’t play in games, he’s a guy that got playing time. I think he gives us some quickness, some scoring, some passing ability. I think he gives us an elite point guard, a guy that we can depend on for the next three years that can be one of the better point guards in this league.”
The SWAC has yet to release detailed information regarding the start of the 2020 basketball season.