Mills Named to Rector High School HOF

Thursday, August 1, 2013
Matt Mills

Current Cougars basketball coach Matt Mills has been selected as a 2013 inductee into the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Before he was known for his abilities as a coach, Mills was a standout athlete as a member of the Clay County Central and Rector High School basketball and baseball teams. A 2001 RHS grad, Mills was lauded by many as one of the best athletes to ever come from the Rector area.

"Matt is, to this day, one of the greatest players I have ever coached," former RHS basketball coach Tony Davis said. "And more, his work ethic and dedication to the game has made him a model of what I want in players and my two sons to emulate to this day. Matt was a consummate winner, ultimate teammate and loyal player."

As a sophomore in 1999, Mills set the CCC single game scoring record with 44 points in a meeting with rival Marmaduke. For the next two years, Mills would continue to have great moments on the court, with one of his biggest coming as a last-second shot from well behind midcourt in the 2001 Clay County Tournament to defeat rival Piggott in a hard-fought contest.

Among his many achievements in basketball are: All-Conference, 1999, 2000 and 2001; Conference MVP, 2001; All-District, 1999, 2000 and 2001; District MVP, 2001; All-NEA, 2000 and 2001; Best Under the Sun, 1999 and 2000; All-State, 1999, 2000 and 2001 and All-Democrat-Gazette Third Team in 2001.

Mills scored 1,782 points at RHS, in addition to leading the team in assists in all three seasons. He holds the Arkansas high school record with 56 consecutive free throws made.

In baseball, Mills was four-year starter. He was catcher on the 2001 state tournament runner-up team. He was named All-District in 1999 and 2001.

After Rector, Mills was a standout basketball player for Williams Baptist College. During his four years at WBC, Mills made 390 free throws for a career average of 86 percent. In his senior year, he set an NAIA individual three-point field goal percentage record by sinking 51.9 percent of his treys. Mills averaged 12 points per game at WBC and was All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He was an Academic All-Conference selection in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Mills continues to make a difference in the game of basketball, serving as coach for the Cougars. Hired as an assistant in 2006, Mills took over the boys' program in 2009. Since then, his squads have advanced to three regional tournaments and reached the semifinals of the 2012 Class 2A State Tournament.

Mills will join fellow 2013 inductees Jason Manchester, Roma Nell Sanders, Kelly Scobey and Bobby Tracer in a special ceremony beginning with a noon luncheon on Aug. 31 at the RHS gymnasium.

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