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Mississippi State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon And Victoria Vivians Win 2018 Awards as Magnolia State’s Top Male, Female College Basketball Players

Vivians first four-time winner of C Spire Gillom Trophy; Weatherspoon wins his first C Spire Howell Trophy

Jackson, Miss., (March 5, 2018) – Mississippi State swept the 2018 C Spire Howell and Gillom awards Monday as both junior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon and senior guard Victoria Vivians were named the state’s best male and female college basketball players this season.

Weatherspoon and Vivians received the awards at a special luncheon hosted by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire and attended by coaches, fans and other special guests. A select group of print and TV news media reporters and editors who cover college basketball in Mississippi chose all finalists and award winners.

The 6-foot-4 junior from Canton, Miss. and three-time Howell Trophy finalist was selected over two other players – fellow teammate, brother and freshman guard Nick Weatherspoon and University of Southern Mississippi junior guard Cortez Edwards. An Ole Miss player has won the award each of the last five seasons.

Weatherspoon finished as the Bulldog’s leading scorer, averaging 14.7 points a game, and the team’s second-leading rebounder with 5.9 a game. He also was third in the SEC in field goal percentage and averaged 1.5 steals a game and 3.5 assists a game.

Vivians, a 6-foot-1 senior guard from Carthage, Miss., led the No. 2-ranked Lady Bulldogs to the SEC conference championship game and was the league’s third leading scorer at 19.6 points a game this year. She bested teammates Teaira McCowan and Blair Schaefer to become the first four-time winner of the trophy named after former Ole Miss great Peggy Gillom-Granderson.

“Tori is our leading scorer, our second leading rebounder and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season,” said Mississippi State head coach Vic Schafer. “She’s improved each year throughout her career, a tremendous testimony to her incredible work ethic.”

Weatherspoon has improved each year since he was named to the all-SEC freshman team in 2015 and the All-SEC squad last year, said Bulldogs head coach Ben Howland. “Q had by far his best season this year, which is incredible since he was coming off a wrist injury from last season that he rehabbed all summer.”

Howland said Weatherspoon has developed into a playmaker and improved his rebounding. “He has an incredible knack and ability to make plays for others. Great players make others around them better and step up when the game is on the line – Q has done both of those things really well this year,” he added.

For the fifth time in the history of the awards, Mississippi hoops fans had the opportunity to take part in the voting for the C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophies. Fan voting counted for a weighted 10 percent of the awards total. Weatherspoon won the fan vote for the men’s award and Vivians won the women’s fan vote.

The C Spire Howell Trophy is named after Bailey Howell, a two-time All American at Mississippi State and a six-time NBA All-Star who played on Boston Celtics world championship teams in 1968 and 1969. Howell, a 1977 inductee to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the first Mississippi player inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame, still hold nearly a dozen season and career records at his college alma mater.

The C Spire Gillom Trophy is named after Abbeville, Miss. native Peggie Gillom-Granderson, Ole Miss’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She coached in the WNBA, the Olympics and was associate head coach for the Lady Rebels before retiring in 2011.

“There’s definitely some NBA and WNBA-caliber talent among this year’s C Spire Howell and Gillom Trophy award winners and finalists,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for C Spire. "This has been another great year in terms of individual performance and overall leadership among basketball teams in our state,” he added, noting that some of the teams led by this year’s award finalists are headed to post-season play.

2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 21 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Outstanding Player Award series.

Former NBA star Maurice “Mo” Williams, a Jackson native, Murrah High star and University of Alabama alumnus, was the featured guest speaker.

About C Spire
C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement initiative, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, a state-of-the-art digital experience for its customers and team members, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region. The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.