E.A. Sports Today

Xai’s day

Senior basketball standout, a key figure in recent successes for Oxford’s girls, signs to play for Tennessee State.

Cover photo: Oxford’s Xai Whitfield signed on Wednesday to play college basketball for Tennessee State University. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Xai’Onna Whitfield helped Oxford girls’ basketball achieve its first Final Four appearance, and she just gave the Yellow Jackets a Division I signee.

The senior signed Wednesday to play for Tennessee State, making her what’s believed to be Oxford’s first Division I signee in girls’ basketball.

“Don’t know for sure, not 100 percent, but we think this may be the first Division I girls’ basketball player that we’ve had sign,” long-time Oxford athletics director Larry Davidson said during his remarks, prompting cheers and applause from family, friends and teammates assembled in the Oxford High Media Center.

Whitfield has been a key figure in Oxford’s runs to the 2022 Class 6A title game and Northeast Regional final last season. She was a finalist for Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 6A player of the year in 2022. 

“Xai has been critical to the success we have had the last several years,” Oxford coach Melissa Bennett said. “It’s amazing watching her. The ease that she performs the moves is something that’s a rare talent.  

“My favorite thing, though, has been her role development throughout the years.  Freshman/sophomore she was much more of a facilitator and would score when needed or less contested. As a junior, she was part of the three-headed offense scorers. Now, as a senior, I have really seen her rise to become much more dominant on a daily basis.”

Whitfield averaged 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds and was MVP of the Calhoun County tournament as a junior. She is a two-time all-state player.

She said she chose Tennessee State over Nicholls State.

“When I went on my visit, it felt like a family,” Whitfield said. “It’s where I felt like I wanted to be. I just enjoyed the environment. It felt like a second home.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login