Devin Gilmore: Scoring and soaring to the next level

When Devin Gilmore started playing basketball in the seventh grade, he knew he had talent, but he didn’t know if he had the heart for it.

“At first I didn’t love it,” Gilmore said.  “I had to learn to love the game, I got better and then I started to like it.”

The 6’6” small forward from Picayune, Mississippi started playing because of his AAU coach, Patrick Swilling, and he hasn’t looked back since.  Gilmore plays for Swilling Storm, New Orleans Elite and Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Madison, Mississippi.

While Gilmore says Swilling got him started in playing basketball, Gilmore credits his mom, Maria Cunningham, for everything that has happened since. Cunningham has helped him develop his game the most.

“She stayed on me,” Gilmore said. “She made sure my grades are good, took me to gym even when I didn’t want to go practice, she just helped me out.”

As for who supports him the most, Gilmore can’t pick just one person.  He says his family has always been there for him and always support everything he does.

When Gilmore made varsity his freshman year, he immediately made a difference on the team by helping them win a state title that year.  Last year, MRA lost to Marshall Academy by one point in overtime in the MAIS Overall Championship.

“We are definitely coming back with a vengeance after losing like that last year,” Gilmore said.

On the court, there’s practically nothing Gilmore can’t do.  He is a true all-around player. He’s a top player across the board, from his athleticism to his motivation and ability to learn.

But his ability to score is really what makes him a special player. Averaging 14.5 points a game last year as a sophomore, he has firmly established himself as one of the best juniors in the state of Mississippi. He is also a top notch rebounder, averaging 7.2 rebounds last year as well.

His ability to score and rebound, along with his motivation to be one of the best, has led many Division I schools to reach out to him.  So far, he has heard from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Texas, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas and Syracuse.

For now, Gilmore doesn’t have a frontrunner for his choice of college.  He doesn’t even have a top 5 or a top 10 either, but he does know what he wants in his future college.

“I want some place that is family-oriented,” Gilmore said, “I want some place where I am needed instead of wanted.”

The current success of the program has nothing to do with the choice of college, according to Gilmore.

“Things can change in the next few years, they can get more players and be a whole new program,” Gilmore elaborated.

The last thing on Gilmore’s checklist for prospective schools is the coach.

“I’m looking for a good coach, someone who can push me and know what I’m capable of. Someone who can help me get to the next level while helping me keep my grades on point.  Someone who can just push me to be better,” Gilmore explained.

No matter where he chooses to play, it is clear the 43rd ranked player in Mississippi for the Class of 2017 will make a difference right away with his great scoring and hustle.