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Official Review by Justin Sutton, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Named after former basketball coach Davey Whitney, the Davey Whitney Complex has hosted Alcorn State basketball since the 1970s.
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If you come to a game at Alcorn State hungry, you have made a major mistake (see the neighborhood section below). That said, if you need a snack at the game, you can get the usual fare (popcorn, soda, hot dogs, etc.) at the game for reasonable prices. If you are looking for fancy gourmet, you will likely be disappointed, but there are enough options to keep you happy during the game. Perhaps more importantly, the concessions are at a reasonable enough price that you and the kids can stay full for around $20 to $30.
Walking into the Davey Whitney Complex feels a bit like walking into a larger high school basketball game. As far as the atmosphere at the games, it often depends on the crowd. If you catch the game with a hot crowd, it can be loads of fun, but if you catch a blowout with a dead crowd, staying the entire time can feel like a chore. The SWAC has its share of heated rivalry games, so pick the right night (perhaps against Jackson State) and enjoy your trip to Lorman.
If you are going to eat at one place in Lorman, make sure you swing by Mr. D's Old Country Store. The outside might be a little scary, but the inside is amazing. The buffet has southern food at its finest, with fried chicken earning the spotlight. When Alton Brown of the Food Network says it is the best fried chicken in the world, it must be amazing. While it is not within walking distance, you need to make the fifteen-minute drive to dine here.
A trip to Lorman, located in Jefferson County, one of the oldest counties in Mississippi, also provides the chance to step back in time a bit, so take advantage of the bed and breakfasts in the area, such as the Rosswood Plantation.
Natchez, one of the first cities in Mississippi, is a close trip, as well. If you have time, it is worth a visit for the day or the weekend. If you head to Natchez, make sure to hit up Fat Mama's Tamales. The tamales are great, and so are the margaritas.
While the crowds may not always be large, the fans in attendance do support the Braves on the court. Any time fans can keep their energy level high through two basketball games, they should be commended.
As far as seating in the venue, fans are going to have a good seat no matter where they choose. However, the best bet is to sit in the chair backs in the lower portion of the stadium. Most fans will be in this area, and you will have a more comfortable viewing experience than sitting on the bleacher seats.
Lorman, Mississippi, is somewhere you either intend to visit or get to by complete accident. That said, getting to Lorman is not too difficult of a process, and a trip to Lorman can provide a reason to take a trip on the Natchez Trace.
The drive home can be a bit tricky at night due to winding roads, so use caution when traveling after the game. As mentioned above, there are some pretty solid places to visit within an hour of Lorman, so making a weekend trip to the area is well worth it.
One of the bonuses of going to a SWAC basketball game is that the women and men almost always play back-to-back games, giving fans two games to attend. For fans of basketball, this provides a chance to get twice the value for the ticket price.
While the next NBA star probably will not be on the floor that night, several players who will go on to play professionally in other leagues will be playing. The overall value of the experience is pretty good.
If you are looking to experience basketball off the beaten path, a trip to Alcorn State is well worth your time. You may not see big-time basketball, but you will see players who are playing hard trying to maximize the games left in their careers.
While ticket prices continue to climb in the hotbeds of basketball, fans can get a near-courtside experience in Lorman, eat all they want, and leave without shelling out over one hundred bucks.
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18801 Hwy 61
Lorman, MS 39096
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