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Sports Spotlight: Farmville Central senior Cox plays through serious injuries to lead Jags deep in state playoffs

Looking to become rare player to win state title all four high school seasons
Sports Spotlight: Derrick Cox Farmville Central
Sports Spotlight: Derrick Cox Farmville Central
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 11:34 PM EST
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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The three-time defending state boys basketball champions at Farmville Central are looking to make it four in a row this month.

Senior Derrick Cox has been part of all of them. His final high school season has been injury filled but he is back now and making a huge impact for the Jaguars.

We feature him in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“They call me Batman,” says Farmville Central Senior Derrick Cox.

Farmville Central senior Derrick Cox is the man in the mask. The Jaguars bat signal has been used often this winter after he recovered from a few serious injuries sustained in the John Wall tournament.

“Dived on the floor one of my teammates slid right beside me. I felt it but it felt like a jam,” says Cox.

“Dislocated his pinky finger. It was turned at a right angle. They slid it right back into place. He went right back in the game and finished the game,” says Farmville Central head coach Larry Williford, “Next game against Life Christian he dives on the floor for a loose ball.”

“He headbutted me. My whole nose shifted to the left. During halftime I just popped a few ibuprofens. Went back and finished the game,” says Cox, “Two weeks later I had surgery on my nose and then now I have just been playing with a mask.”

The masked man. Cox has embraced the challenge.

“You know playing in a mask, hasn’t complained one time,” says Williford.

“Irritation to me but since I got another it’s been much better getting adjusted to it,” says Cox.

Cox is the lone senior playing on the Jaguars this year. His lone classmate suffered an ACL tear in the preseason.

“He’s our silent leader. He’s a great basketball player but he’s an even better person. If your kid grows up and acts like Derrick Cox you are going to be a happy parent,” says Williford, “That’s the best compliment I can give any student-athlete.”

“It’s been a big role,” says Cox, “but I got my brothers with me and they have just been keeping my head on tight.”

His first two seasons he was a role player for state champions. Last season it was Cox who took the spotlight in the state title game.

“We got in foul trouble early in the state championship game,” says Williford, “He came in and played the most minutes he played all year 26. I think he ended up with 18 in that game.”

“A lot of people have said I didn’t earn the first two rings that I got. But once I played in the state championship my junior year, it was just a load off,” says Cox, “Being able to provide for my team, as well as myself, it was just a big load off my shoulders.”

Through it all Derrick has helped Farmville Central get in position to make it 4 state crowns in a row. If they do, it would mean Cox won state basketball titles all four years of high school.

“The last person who has won 4 state championship rings in North Carolina was Brandon Ingram,” says Cox, “Being considered in a conversation with him in high school would be a huge honor and a great blessing.”

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