Where are they now? Derrious Gilmore
Since leading Lake Clifton to the Class 3A state semifinals in 2008, Derrious Gilmore has bounced around a bit.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound point guard did a prep year at Princeton Day Academy in Lanham. After that came a freshman season at Pensacola State (Fla.) College, but a coaching change meant that Gilmore had to pack his bags again.
Don Skelton, meanwhile, was looking for a point guard to lead his Jones County (Miss.) Junior College squad. Gilmore, who was recommended to Skelton by a former assistant, was just what the Bobcats needed.
“I never saw Derrious play until he came onto our campus,” Skelton said. “But coming in, [he was] just a guy that plays with a lot of energy. We play an up-tempo style, and he fits that bill. He pushes the ball as a point guard and really pushes our offense.”
At Jones County, Skelton is allowed just three out-of-state players on his roster. So Gilmore – and almost every non-Mississippi player for the Bobcats – was expected to step into the starting lineup right away. Gilmore was immediately up to the task.
“I needed a kid who knew the junior college level already,” Skelton said. “Playing in the Panhandle League [for Pensacola, I knew that he would] be ready to step in and play. … You don’t have to worry about Derrious bringing energy or playing hard. You’re going to see that every time out. He takes basketball very seriously. It means a lot to him. I know he’s working really hard at it.”
Gilmore is third on the Bobcats in scoring (13 points per game), first in assists (6.4 per game) and first in steals (two per game). He’s 23rd in the nation in assists, and his unselfishness has been instrumental in Jones County’s success this season. The Bobcats are 12-10 overall with a 7-4 record in the 14-team Mississippi Junior College Association. Gilmore has guided his team to eight wins in the past 11 games.
Jones County is preparing for its regular-season finale Thursday, and then Skelton’s attention will turn to the state playoffs. Once the postseason begins, recruiting tends to pick up for junior college players. Gilmore is still waiting on his first Division I offer, but there has already been plenty of attention.
“Nebraska showed a little interest early,” said Skelton, who was initially referred to Gilmore by Cornhuskers assistant coach Wes Flanigan. “West Virginia came down here last week, Rhode Island called last week, a lot of guys back up on the East Coast, [plus] South Alabama [and] a lot of others. … He’s getting a lot of interest, especially picking up here the last couple of weeks. [We’re getting] numerous calls in here about him.”
Skelton called Gilmore “a great personality” who has worked hard in the classroom to get qualified. The Jones County coach doesn’t think location will be a major factor in Gilmore’s decision, and the former Lakers star is “wide open” when it comes to recruiting. Skelton is confident that by the beginning of next season, Gilmore will have found a Division I home.
“Derrious isn’t a big kid,” Skelton said, “but he makes up for it with toughness and desire. He’s fought it his whole life.”
Photo 1 of Derrious Gilmore courtesy of Jones County Junior College. / Photo 2 of Derrious Gilmore by Lloyd Fox / Jan. 2, 2008.