McCall shines bright for Lowndes County

Published 9:34 pm Thursday, April 11, 2024

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Some say It is not easy being a student-athlete, especially when there are times of strife and adversity. But, in spite of life’s challenges Lowndes County native Derrica McCall relies on her passion for basketball and the support of her community to excel athletically and academically. 

Mccall, a student-athlete at Shorter University, said that the most gratifying thing about basketball to her would be her passion for the game and how she uses that passion to honor her late father, Derrick McCall who passed away in 2022. 

“When I step out on the court all my worries and stress go away,” McCall said. “It’s like a sense of peace comes over me and also it’s bittersweet knowing my pops introduced me to the game so now I really try to play for him whenever I step out on the court.” 

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The rising basketball star hales from Collirene, a small community in Lowndes County. She has acknowledged that her community did a great job at shaping her into the person she is now.

“My community has definitely played a huge role in making me the person and athlete I am today,” McCall said. “It has always been the unconditional support from my friends and family that has kept me going for so long.”

McCall started playing basketball at the age of 4 with the Lowndes County Youth League and also played softball with the Suburban West league when she was younger. Her passion followed her into her high school years and when it became evident, she was a force to be reckoned with. 

The student-athlete attended Central High School in Hayneville where she set many records and led the Lady Lions to countless victories with the help of her teammate and longtime friend, Cordasia Harris. 

After graduating from Central High in 2020, McCall went on to play basketball on the collegiate level. During her sophomore year at Bishop State Community College, she made women’s second-team all-region 22 and women’s first-team all-south and the all-tournament team. After transferring to Shorter University, McCall was named to the Gulf South Conference’s newcomer watchlist. 

Some of McCall’s latest achievements include:

  • Dean’s list spring 2023 and fall 2023;
  • Membership in the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) Chi Sigma Mu Honor Society; 
  • West Georgia 2023-24 Player of the Year; and
  • Reaching 1,000 career points on March 2 during a game against Union University. 

Marilyn McCall, Derrica’s mother, has been there with her every step of the way and expressed just how proud she is of her daughter and all Derrica has accomplished.

“It has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to see my daughter grow and accomplish so much over the years,” Marilyn said. “I am proud of her hard work, determination, and perseverance in pursuing her goals and dreams. It is a joy to witness her maturity, independence, and success as she navigates through life’s challenges and triumphs. I feel grateful and blessed to have been able to support and guide her along the way, and I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things she will continue to achieve in the future.” 

Although Derrica has accomplished much, she still is able to acknowledge when there are things that she needs to work on and she has a message for other student-athletes. 

“As a student-athlete, time management is something that I think can improve,” McCall said. “Also, balancing academics and athletics is challenging; so, I’m trying to be better by prioritizing my time for homework better instead of procrastinating until Sunday night. I would say to stay on top of your grades. If you want to go anywhere at the next level, your grades have to be on point because they don’t call it being a student-athlete for nothing, and also, I would say dedications and hard work is another important factor, you have to put in work outside of just practice and stay committed to the grind and always remember to keep God first.” 

Marilyn continues to be one of Derrica’s biggest fans and uplifts the student-athlete as much as she can. She also said that if she could use one word to describe her, it would be extraordinary. 

“Some things I admire about my daughter include her resilience, determination, and compassion,” Marilyn said. “She has a strong sense of empathy for others and always goes out of her way to help those in need. She is also incredibly hardworking and never gives up on achieving her goals. Her best qualities include her kindness, intelligence and creativity. She has a unique ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems. She is also a great listener and always offers thoughtful advice to those around her. Overall, I am proud of the person she has become and grateful for all the wonderful qualities she possesses.”