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OXFORD — Oxford guard La’Mya McGrue is headed to Snead State Community College to play basketball, but the high school's athletics director, Larry Davidson, playfully teased her that she might not be the best player in the family.
Davidson pointed to McGrue’s mother, Oxford girls basketball assistant coach Shavon Wysinger, and said she was pretty good in her day. Wysinger played at Oxford before graduating in 2002 and then played at Southern Union Community College.
Either way, McGrue says she appreciated how much her mom has helped her in her basketball journey, which the school celebrated Wednesday afternoon with a signing celebration.
"She was a big influence," said McGrue, who joined the Oxford varsity during Christmas of her eighth-grade year and has remained a mainstay since then.
"When she started coaching me, that pushed me to go harder. She's a mom and my coach, so I couldn't get away with a lot of things because she would still be on me. It was a big influence."
Mom had advice that McGrue says she needed.
"I have a hard time when I mess up, I get down on myself," McGrue said. "So, she would be like, 'It doesn't matter how many times I mess up, it's the outcome and how I react to it.'"
Wysinger said she tells that not only to McGrue but all the players.
"I tell these girls that you're going to make a mistake," she said. "No doubt about it. You're going to make a mistake. It's what you do after your mistake. That's the big thing I drill on them all."
McGrue, a slender 5-foot-6 guard, said Snead State was the only serious offer she received, but that's OK with her. Because the school is in Boaz, which is only about 54 miles from Oxford High School, she's close to her family.
McGrue seems excited, even wearing a custom Snead State shirt Wednesday that one of her mother's friends made for her.
"Honestly, I didn't want to go that far, because they really want to go that far," McGrue said. "I'm glad I'm close to home so they can come support me."
As for Davidson's kidding about who's the best basketball player in the family, McGrue has one thing over her mother — last year, McGrue and her Oxford teammates advanced all the way to the Class 6A state championship game before losing.
When Wysinger played for Oxford, the Yellow Jackets made it to the Northeast Regional finals her sophomore, junior and senior years under Darrell Cline but lost in each instance. Even so, she said she and her teammates are happy for the current players and what they've accomplished.
"I congratulate them," she said. "I salute them all."