November 20, 2002

Travis Outlaw Signs With Mississippi State

Signed
Signed, sealed and delivered. Travis Outlaw (6-10, 190) forward signed a national letter of intent with Mississippi State University at noon on Wednesday, November 20, 2002 in the Starkville High School library. Outlaw, accompanied by his parents and coach said immediately after signing the NLI, "I chose Mississippi State because it is close to home."

Outlaw waited until the final day of the early signing period to make it official. "I got cold feet," he said. "I was thinking about where do I really want to spend four years of my life going to school. The reality really hits you. My parents and I really sat down and talked about it a lot. I told them this is what I really wanted. I love being close to my parents so it really came down to, "Why not Mississippi State?"

Some of the other schools that vied for Outlaw's signature included Duke, Florida, Alabama, Louisville, Nevada-Las Vegas. In the end Outlaw chose Mississippi State over the University of Memphis.

Travis Outlaw -- signing-11-20-02

Starkville (Mississippi) High School senior Travis Outlaw signs a national letter of intent to play basketball at Mississippi State University on November 20, 2002.

"I really considered the University of Memphis," Outlaw said. "I liked Memphis because my grandmother lives there. She saw me play a couple of times and it would have been nice to play in front of her too."

How does Outlaw see his role with the Bulldogs next year? "My ultimate goal is to play in the NBA. In the mean time I hope to win a state championship here this year, help Mississippi State to get to the Final Four and keep a good name for myself in the process."

Outlaw plays for Greg Carter, who is a former MSU standout and assistant coach. What words of wisdom did Carter give to Outlaw? "Coach Carter said they work the players hard there and they play physical basketball in the SEC. I haven't got that part of the game yet but I look forward to it."

"It's a thrill and we're delighted about it," said Travis' mother Markeeta Outlaw. "We were a bit shocked because he came into our room last night and said, "OK I'm signing. We didn't want to put him under any pressure because this is a major decision that only he had to make. Coach Carter told him it's just like getting married because of the commitment. Now he can focus on the season ahead of him."

Travis Outlaw and family-11-20-02

Flanked by his mother Markeeta and his brother Jason and with his coach Greg Carter (left) and his father John (right), Starkville High School senior Travis Outlaw (blue jump suit) signs a national letter of intent to play basketball at Mississippi State University on November 20, 2002.

"It takes a lot of pressure off Travis and the family," said his father, John Outlaw, who is a life-long resident of Starkville. "I know a lot of alumni. It's horrible going to a football game with everyone asking, "When will he sign?" Travis came in last night and popped it on us. I look forward to watching him at the Hump. That's only about 2 miles from the house. He looked at all the locations of the schools recruiting him and he really wanted my wife and me to be able to see him play every game. Now he can concentrate on winning a state championship and graduating high school."

Mr. Outlaw confirmed that his son is on track to graduate.

"He played two games before he signed today and it really did not distract him," Carter said. "He's a better jump shooter now than he was last year. He matured. This year he does not try doing too much on the floor. He's spreading it around, making that good pass and trusting his teammates. We expect to him to keep our players focused and provide the leadership we need."




 

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