Sispsey Valley's Martavious Russell commits to Mississippi State basketball

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Sipsey Valley boys basketball senior Martavious Russell has committed to Mississippi State, he announced Tuesday afternoon.

The first-team All-State guard helped lead Sipsey Valley to the AHSAA Class 5 Final Four in 2021, averaging 19.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists. He was named The Tuscaloosa News Super 5 Most Valuable Player.

"I would like to thank God for all my trails and tribulations and preparing me for those to come," the 6-foot-4, 190-pound recruit said in a video posted to Twitter. "I would also like to thank my family, coaches and community for the unbelievable support they have provided. My journey has not always been easy."

The guard is a slasher with a quick first step and long wingspan. Russell's driving ability is perhaps his biggest strength. If the Bulldogs had a concern, it was his shooting, Russell said, but not enough to skip out on the smart and poised wing player looking to win state in his senior season.

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"One of the main things (I can improve) is shooting," he said. "I feel like my shooting is pretty good, but I can always improve in every aspect in my game. I would also like to improve my playmaking so I can be versatile."

Russell felt at home at Mississippi State, the only high-major program to extend an offer, as it's only 76 miles west of his Tuscaloosa-area high school. A primary factor in Russell's choice is the relationship assistant coach George Brooks built with him. He is the Bulldogs' fourth commit.

"Getting to know me not just for basketball but as a person as well, and just believing in me," Russell said, "he started contacting me and showing up to a couple of (AAU) games. As I switched to different AAU teams, most coaches seeing me play in the back gym, they didn't give me a chance. But he did. He showed up to the back gym to watch me play, and it showed a lot."

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Contact Jerell Rushin at 205-600-4015 or jrushin@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JerellRushin_.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Martavious Russell commits to Mississippi State basketball

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