2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Frazier, Harden, Jackson (32nd), Thomas, Simmons, Butler, Walls, Jackson (11th), Dawkins
A CONCURRENT 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. Years from now, fans will talk about the day Coach Billups won his 500th victory, his MHSAA-record eighth Boys State Title and his third in a row at the Mississippi Coliseum. In 16 seasons, Billups has coached in 13 State Finals, including 9 in a row. By virtue of his third straight Class 4A State Championship, he has surpassed Gulfport's legendary Bert Jenkins for the most Mississippi High School Activities Association Boys State Titles with eight. Coach Billups, 54, has built a hoops machine on Maple Street in Jackson; 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. Terry Church added 20 points and Benjamin George added 16 for the Bulldogs, who have won a state-record 16 State Championships. R.L. Horton is a "real winner"; 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. In the dressing room after this come-from-behind victory against New Hope, Coach Billups told his team "The way you came back today -- that's why I tell you to keep playing and don't give up. And you didn't. That's what they call champions," which was met with a roar of approval from his team; 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 archrival 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. Dandy Dozen Senior 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. "This was a big day for our team, our school and our community," Coach Billups said. "When you have all the state champions play to see who comes out on top, that ought to tell everybody we're No. 1"; 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 SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, 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 the best wishes of the Legislature for their future successes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Coach Billups for the team and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.