Finalists named for top men’s/women’s college basketball players in Mississippi

USM players among 3 finalists for Gillom, Howell awards, respectively
University of Southern Mississippi's Austin Crowley is among the three finalists for the 2023...
University of Southern Mississippi's Austin Crowley is among the three finalists for the 2023 Howell Trophy.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 3:29 PM CST
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From the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Public Information Office

JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Six college basketball players, three men and three women, were named as finalists to win top accolades as the best player in each sport in 2023.

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum announced Thursday the finalists for the 2023 Howell Trophy and the 2023 Gillom Trophy, respectively, presented by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Pearl River Resort.

Each year the most outstanding player in women’s basketball is award the Gillom Trophy, named for Hall of Famer Peggie Gillom Granderson.

The most outstanding player in men’s basketball is awarded the Howell Trophy named for Hall of Famer Bailey Howell.

Among the nominees: University of Southern Mississippi’s Dominique Davis for the Gillom; USM’s Austin Crowley for the Howell.

The finalists for these prestigious awards are selected by a panel of statewide media who cover college basketball. This same panel with now be tasked with selecting this year’s winners.

The competition for the Gillom Trophy saw nine different players from five different schools receive votes.

The top three vote totals were received by Jessika Carter of Mississippi State University, Angel Baker of the University of Mississippi and Davis.

The vote for the men was even more diverse, with 13 different players representing nine schools receiving votes.

The three Howell Trophy finalists are Tolu Smith of Mississippi State University, Matt Murrell of Ole Miss and Crowley.

The six finalists and their coaches will be recognized during a luncheon and program on March 6 at the Golden Moon Casino at Pearl River Resort.

Both trophy namesakes will be in attendance, with Peggie Gillom Granderson and Rick Cleveland offering a Q&A interview during the program.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The luncheon is open to the public but tickets to the event must be purchased in advance online at or by calling the Hall of Fame offices at (601) 982-8264.

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