OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Zeke Cook

Zeke Cook

Staff Writer

There was just one thought on the mind of Zeke Cook during last Saturday's basketball game for the Starkville Yellow Jackets against Center Hill.

He wanted a win.

The Jackets did that, like they have for most of the season, by beating Center Hill 63-62 at the Tangle on the Trail Classic in Pontotoc.

Cook scored 18 points for Starkville and was chosen the game's Most Valuable Player.

"I just wanted to score, rebound, play defense like we always do in practice," Cook said about his approach to the game.

With a 15-point performance against Northwest Rankin in a 70-51 win last Friday to his credit, Cook averaged 16.5 points for the Jackets in two games. He was selected the OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week by the Starkville Daily News sports staff.

Cook attributes the rise of his scoring output to the effort he puts forth during practice.

SHS boys head coach Greg Carter said Cook can be considered the Energizer Bunny of the team.

"He's getting better and better," Carter said of Cook. "He really is. It's a result of hard work and how hard he plays. When he gets on the court, he just plays so hard. He goes 100 miles an hour."

Carter likes having someone like Cook in the post to spell other players like Atavius "Tank" Jones when they need a breather or if foul trouble occurs.

The development and continued improvement of Cook can only help the Jackets moving forward.

"We have a nice little mix of guys we play in the post and he's one that's really stepped up," Carter said. "It's nice to have some depth at that position and to have someone like Zeke to come in to make plays to start the game."

After getting the two victories last week, Starkville has an impressive record of 15-1.

Cook enjoys being a Jacket and being surrounded by good teammates.

"We have some good seniors, good juniors, sophomores and everyone," Cook said. "We're improving each and every game. We are only getting better."

SHS gets back into Class 6A, Region 3 play on Friday with a road trip to Jackson to face Murrah.

Carter said it's going to take a good effort from Cook and the rest of the Jackets to have success against the Mustangs.

"Playing in Jackson is always tough," Carter said. "Games are a lot more physical down there. It's just different, so you've got to be a little tougher on the road and especially in Jackson."