Region XXIII Champs Pearl River signs Peach Belt Freshman of the Year

Pearl River fell to Gulf Coast 65-62 on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at Marvin R. White Coliseum in Poplarville, Miss. (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS).
Pearl River fell to Gulf Coast 65-62 on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at Marvin R. White Coliseum in Poplarville, Miss. (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS).

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Reigning XXIII Champion Pearl River Wildcats bolstered their 2019 signing class with freshman transfer Kailex Stephens, Coach Chris Oney announced Wednesday.

"Kailex has the chance to be one of the most versatile players to play at Pearl River during my time on campus," Oney said. "He can score from inside and outside, which will make it extremely difficult for him to be defended."

Stephens is a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native who excelled at Paul W. Bryant High. The 6-foot-8 forward won the 2017 Class 6A State Championship and helped lead his high school to a 30-5 record as a senior. Stephens was an honorable mention All-State performer and made the Regional and All-State Tournament teams.

Stephens signed with Francis Marion University in South Carolina and was an immediate hit, averaging 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds. He also scored from the floor at a 40.5 percent clip and made 30.1 percent of his three-pointers. Stephens' performance earned him the Peach Belt Conference Co-Freshman of the Year honor.

"His experience and scoring ability will be much needed next season because of all of our youth," Oney said. 

Stephens joins a 2019 signing class that already includes East Carolina transfer Tae Hardy along with prep signees Earl Smith (Jackson; Lanier), Kolby Moore (Clinton), Dontae Jackson (Gulfport), Dontavious Proby (Biloxi), Jariyon Wilkens (Biloxi) and Jarron Wilkens (Biloxi).

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