Most often during Leland High School basketball games, one of the school’s most impactful players in history finds himself seated along the south baseline to cheer his team on and provide feedback for coaches and players.
Current generations of players and coaches might view this towering, gentle spirited fatherly figure as a man with a lot of basketball wisdom. But they may not know that Kermit McAdory was a two-way force back in the day on the court.
“I was born and raised in Leland and basketball was always my preferred sport,” he said. “I knew that I was good in basketball when I went from five foot eleven to six foot three between my eighth and ninth grade year at Leland High.”
Early in his high school career, McAdory was known primarily for his defense. But, as he continued to grow and learn the game, his value to his team manifested on both ends of the court.
“I would always play defense against the other team’s best scorer,” McAdory recalled. “I also became a pretty good scorer. From my tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade years, I made the North All State team and by my senior year, Leland finished third in the state.”
McAdory’s stellar prep play earned him a full scholarship to Prairie View A & M University in Texas where he was a four-year starter and standout in SWAC play.
“It was the first time I had crossed the Mississippi River and it was quite an experience for me,” he said. “But I adjusted and made the most of my opportunity. I had dreams of playing professional basketball, but knee injuries cut that short.”
The biggest life lesson he learned from this experience was the value of an education. Receiving his bachelor’s degree from Prairie View in 1977 and later a graduate degree from Delta Sate, McAdory worked online casino go ten years for USDA and is currently in his 33rd year as an educator.
His experiences have included coaching football, baseball and basketball along with being an administrator in Indianola and an instructor in Ruleville and Leland.
“I was raised by people and taught by teachers who always stressed the value of putting effort into whatever you decide to do,” he said.
“I anticipated playing professionally, but a college degree put me in position to pursue success in another way.”