Melbourne, Fla. - One of Northeast Mississippi Community College's most dynamic men's basketball players has accepted an invitation to test his skills amongst the best athletes in the nation.
Denzel McDuffey will compete in the 2018 JUCO Advocate JA32 showcase over a three-day period beginning on Wednesday, July 11 at the Titan Field House on the campus of Eastern Florida State College.
"This will be a great experience for Denzel and another great opportunity to expose Northeast as one of the top junior college brands in the country," said Tigers head coach Cord Wright. "This event is limited to 32 selected players so it's an honor to be a part of it."
McDuffey was a key part of another successful Northeast season. He earned Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State honors for his efforts as a freshman.
The Jackson native became the Tigers' leading scorer one year ago with an average of 14.3 points. He and Bryce Smith were the only two double-digit contributors on a balanced Northeast squad that posted 83.2 points per game, which was the most in over five seasons.
McDuffey reached double figures on 19 different occasions throughout the 2017-18 campaign. He set a career-high early in the year with 28 points in a home victory over Tennessee Preparatory Academy.
He won MACJC Player of the Week twice during his initial season on the Booneville campus. McDuffey's first such award was following his performance versus Tennessee Prep and his second came after totaling a combined 34 points in games at Arkansas State University Mid-South and Lawson State (Ala.) Community College.
McDuffey had two double-doubles on the year. He tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds in the Tigers' division opener at Coahoma Community College and later had 11 points and 10 boards versus Pearl River Community College in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament.
His best month offensively was January. He averaged 17.8 points over five contests, including 23 points during a crucial MACJC North Division win at East Mississippi Community College.
The Clinton High School graduate appeared in all but one contest for Northeast and earned the starting nod 19 times. He compiled a 43.7 overall shooting percentage and a 70.1 percent mark from the free throw line.
He played the second most minutes of anybody on the team with 24.5, which was barely behind Antares Gwyn's 25 minutes per outing. McDuffey also topped the Tigers with team-high averages of 1.7 steals and one block.
Among his other career-bests are six assists three times, four steals twice and three blocks twice, including during Northeast's final pre-Christmas break matchup at Lawson State.
Players are scheduled to complete a full practice and combine session on the opening day of the showcase. The athletes will then split into multiple teams and participate in three full regulation games from July 12-13.
McDuffey is one of only three players from the Magnolia State to receive an invite to this prestigious competition. Student-athletes from NJCAA member colleges as far away as Arizona, Nebraska and Wyoming will descend upon Eastern Florida State for this event.