2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Banks, Evans, Fleming, Robinson (63rd)
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING VETERAN LANIER BASKETBALL COACH THOMAS BILLUPS FOR HIS 8TH STATE TITLE AND THE LANIER HIGH SCHOOL BULLDOGS FOR THEIR 3RD CONSECUTIVE CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP AND GRAND SLAM OVERALL TITLE.
WHEREAS, the No. 1 ranked Lanier High School Bulldogs defeated New Hope 74-69 in a gutsy come-from-behind victory on Friday, March 9, 2007, for their third consecutive Class 4A State Championship before a crowd of 4,200 at the Mississippi Coliseum; and
WHEREAS, Coach Thomas Billups' success at Lanier High School may be unmatched in the history of Mississippi high school boys basketball, boasting a career record of 502 victories, a Mississippi High School Activities Association record of eight Boys State Titles and his third consecutive championship win at the Mississippi Coliseum; and
WHEREAS, in 16 seasons, Billups has coached in 13 State Finals, nine of which have been consecutive appearances to the "Big House," which by virtue of this third straight Class 4A State Championship, has allowed him to surpass Gulfport's legendary Bert Jenkins for the most MHSAA Boys State Titles with eight; and
WHEREAS, this latest Gold Ball Trophy was earned thanks to an unwavering dedication, a seemingly endless will of determination and the familiar second-half magic of Lanier's The Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen Senior Guard R.L. Horton, who scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half of this championship game; and
WHEREAS, in addition to Horton's standout performance, Terry Church added 20 points and Benjamin George added 16 for the Bulldogs, who have won a state record of 16 State Championships; and
WHEREAS, the greatest tribute to Coach Billups is what his players and former players say about him, the father-figure and nurturing comments that he makes; and
WHEREAS, the fiery Coach Billups will have to find another tactic next year (as if shooting for a 4A four-peat in 2008 wasn't enough) after his team's convincing 59-47 victory over arch rival Provine High School to complete the MHSAA's first Tournament of Champions in 25 years before an announced crowd of 1,599 at the BancorpSouth Arena on Saturday, March 17, 2007; and
WHEREAS, R.L. Horton capped one of the winningest careers in Mississippi high school history with a game-high 25 points as the Bulldogs finished 39-3, eight days after taking home their third consecutive Class 4A State Championship at the Mississippi Coliseum; and
WHEREAS, a look at Lanier's year-by-year ranking since Coach Thomas Billups arrived is as follows:
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this championship team and the accomplishments of this remarkable Coach who have brought honor to their school, their community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate veteran Lanier Basketball Coach Thomas Billups for his 8th State Title and the Lanier High School Bulldogs Boys Basketball Team for their third consecutive Class 4A State Championship and for their Mississippi High School Activities Association Grand Slam Overall State Title and extend to them best wishes for their future success.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Coach Billups and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.