Tiptonville’s Budding Talent
Tiptonville is one of Tennessee‘s smallest towns, but the tiny community is big in high school basketball. “We love to play the game, we take it serious, and it means something to us,” said Lake County girls basketball head coach Bret Johnson. It certainly means something to Takeyha Flowers. “I started in elementary school and it‘s a lot of stuff you learn from it,” said Flowers, a senior guard on the Lady Falcon basketball team. Everyone in Lake County calls her T.T., but you can call Takeyha a student of the game. “I need to work on more shooting and my free throws,” said Flowers. “She surpassed 1500 points last year as a junior. She will go over 2,000 for her career this year. She‘s recorded over 700 assists in high school,” said Coach Johnson. T.T. looks up to a few WNBA stars. “I really like Diana Taurasi,” said Flowers. But she does not have to look any further than her #32 jersey for true inspiration. “A lot of people in my family had it, so I just decided to get it. My cousin Jordan, my Aunt Phyllis and my daddy,” said Flowers. Her daddy is former All-State running back and 1995 Mr. Football finalist Jewell Flowers. “The argument can be made that Jewell Flowers was the best tailback that Lake County High School has ever produced,” said Evan Jones. Jones is the publisher and editor of the Lake County Banner. Jones has covered sports in Northwest Tennessee for more than 30 years. The importance of using athletics as a vehicle to higher education is heightened in Tiptonville as Lake County was recently named one of the poorest counties in the entire nation. “If basketball can open a door to further their education they can change their family‘s outlook for generations with a college education,” said Coach Johnson. Using athletics to get a college education an opportunity T.T.‘s father didn‘t take advantage of. “Jewel made some bad decisions when he got out of high school,” said Jones. T.T. has goals that reach beyond the basketball court. “I want to play ball, but I want to major in forensic science,” T.T. said. “I‘ve been here 18 years and a lot of girls have earned degrees through their basketball prowess or through their academics,” said Coach Johnson. “Great people come out of Lake County,” Evans said. “I think T.T. is going to be one of them,” said Evans.