MaxPreps has been contacting the 2011 basketball players who will be participating in the National High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships during the past couple of weeks. One of the 2011 players who has been selected to participate in the 3-point championship is none other than Oklolona High School's and Mississippi State signee D.J. Gardner. He and his mother were notified about the contest about a week ago.
"We got a phone call from MaxPreps and were told that he had been selected to participate in it and that there would be seven other guys other than himself, so there will be eight of them," said Ann Gardner. "The only thing I know about it is he was the only one from Mississippi that was selected."
I received a text from her Saturday letting me know that D.J. was participating in the event. While this is a big deal to most folks, Ann and D.J. aren't the kind of folks who go around bragging about D.J.s accomplishments. But when Ann called one of the Mississippi State basketball coaches and told him about it, he told her this was something that folks, including the media, would like to know about.
"We told (MSU assistant) Coach (Marcus) Grant about this," said Ann, who will be attending the event. "We told him we hadn't even told anybody about it and he said, 'Ann, this is something you are supposed to tell people.' (laugh)."
D.J. and Ann will be heading to Houston, Texas in less than two weeks.
"We will go down (to Houston, TX) on the 31st, then we are going to do the three-point shootout on April 1st, then it will be aired on the 3rd," said D.J.
D.J. explained what his feelings were when he was notified that he had been selected to participate in the contest.
"When they called (and told me that I was selected) I was kind of shocked because I didn't really know that I was thought of like that as a three-point shooter around the nation," said the 6-6, 185-pounder. "I was amazed."
As you would expect, he started preparing for the contest almost immediately.
"I got back into the gym and have been shooting a lot of threes," said the Mississippi State signee.
As the contest gets closer and closer, another feeling has creeped in, although D.J. won't let it affect his shooting.
"I am anxious but I know I'm going to make some (three-point shots) when I get out there," said D.J. "I know that."
And I don't doubt him at all based on his three-point exploits this past high school season.
During the 2010 season, D.J. made 121-of-299 three-point shots for Okolona High School for a three-point shooting percentage of 40.5%. His high for the year was 8 against Drew in the Mississippi high school North-State Tournament Semifinals and he made 7 three different other games.
Click here to read more about the event, including the other basketball players participating in it.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.