March 4, 2010

Stewart, Varnado more than teammates

A friendship that began on the AAU court in Tennessee has led to record setting careers at Mississippi State.

Former Midstate Ballerz teammates Barry Stewart and Jarvis Varnado have built a bond that has grown over their time together in Starkville and also produced four championships in the process.

"We started out in AAU playing with each other and spending time together," Stewart said. "After our high school season we playing in the East-West game and the East kicked the West's butt. We had some words then and then we got (to Mississippi State). We were in a dorm and were basically together every minute of the day practicing and off the court and that really grew us closer together."

Stewart and Varnado were freshman roommates in Hurst Hall and still live together in an off-campus apartment along with teammates Twany Beckham and Riley Bencock.

"We hang out and have fun," Stewart said. "We might debate about things. We've got two other roommates, Twany and Riley. It's usually two-on-two, me and Riley against (Varnado) and Twany. We debate about everything from basketball to whatever is going on. We usually have a lot of debates in there. It gets kind of loud down there."

The two seniors were also able to share a memorable night together in the spotlight last week as Varnado became the NCAA's all-time leading shot blocker and Stewart broke the school's record for career 3-pointers against Alabama.

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