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Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes: Baldwyn’s Bonnie “Country” Graham

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Bonnie “Country” Graham Photo courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

Bonnie “Country” Graham, a native of Baldwyn, was Mississippi’s first basketball All-American, playing for the Ole Miss Rebels in 1938. He was such a proficient basketball shooter, he had a shot named for him: “Country’s Fade Away,” which was actually a one-handed hook shot. Born on August 24, 1914, Graham played on a state basketball championship team for Baldwyn High School in 1932. He played at Ole Miss from 1936-38, and led the SEC in scoring three straight seasons. Graham was one of seven top college basketball players of the 1930s, according to Sports Illustrated in a 1978 story. He established 36 SEC scoring records. His coaching career began at Jones County Junior College. He led JCJC to three state junior college basketball championships in 1941, 1943, and 1946. He also coached JCJC to a state football championship in 1947. He returned to Ole Miss in 1949 and was head basketball coach through the 1962 season. He also served as an assistant football coach on John Vaught’s staff, mainly as a scout. One of his main jobs was to scout the Mississippi State football team. During his years on the Ole Miss staff, the Rebels never lost to State. He died in 2001 at the age of 87.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
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