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Backing Byhalia High with basketball

Photo: Action from the men’s alumni basketball game at Byhalia High on Saturday, July 15. (Bob Bakken/

Keith Hardaway recently brought some friends back to play some hoops for a good cause. Hardaway, owner of Fade Away Barbershop in Olive Branch, played high school basketball at Byhalia High and had a mind to give back to his school by getting an alumni game together. 

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, to be able to bring people back that they haven’t seen for 20, 30, 40 years,” Hardaway said. “This is all about family.”

It turned out to be quite a pick up game, you might say. Players from Byhalia’s basketball past came back, got paired up in a draft, and then put on a show before a full house in the Byhalia High School gymnasium. The players totaled 38 girls and 32 guys who were matched up.

Players who came back for the alumni included Mario Moore and Kenyatta Jones.  

“They all played high school ball,” Hardaway said. “People will remember a lot of these guys, some big names and All-Americans, so forth and so on.”

Hardaway hopes to make the game an annual event and continue to give back to the school, which received $5,000 in proceeds from the game for its general fund.  

“I graduated from here,” Hardaway said. “This is a good thing to connect with guys we haven’t seen in years because of work and that.”

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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