All-State Basketball 1A awards
1A Third Team – Brett James
Whitehorse Senior Guard – 13.9 ppg
Head Coach Evan Grant: “Brett is a kid who played and practiced like he had a chip on his shoulder, something to prove. He is a high-IQ basketball player, meaning we could tell him something at practice or in a game and he understood immediately. He didn't need much coaching, he just needed an opportunity to prove what he could do.
“He doesn't just succeed on the court, he also succeeds in the classroom. He has a bright future. I only had the opportunity to coach Brett for one season because he transferred to Whitehorse, to a school closer to his home.
“Brett brought more than just his skill to the team; he brought leadership. He is hard-working and is always looking for the positive in things. Even after a loss, he looked at how and what needed to be done to improve for the next time.
“He has a desire to be successful and is willing to put in the work to do that. Brett is a great person with a huge heart. He was always willing to help anybody if needed. He is also very humble, never needing to show off or brag about his accomplishments. Brett will be missed. He was part of an amazing group of seniors this year.”
1A Honorable Mention – Boston Freestone
Monticello Senior Guard – 16.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.9 spg
Head Coach Josh Keyes: “Boston Freestone is a coach’s player. He has an impeccable work ethic, drive for success, and a solid skill set. As a player, Boston started for the Buckaroos for three years. As a staunch defender with a long reach, he was able to rebound, block shots, and close up passing lanes.
“On the offensive side of the court, Boston loved his step-in threes from the top of the key and the corner shot. He was tenacious getting to the rim and created all types of havoc for defenses with his court vision. He is a complete player.
“As a teammate, Boston led by example. He was always prepared for the big moments, but also persevered through the tough times and worked tirelessly away from the spotlight. He was respected by his coaches and opponents, but most importantly, loved by his teammates for his effort and love for the game.
“He gave Monticello Basketball everything he possibly could and always did it with a smile on his face. Ultimately, Boston’s best quality was his desire to be on the court. He played through injuries and sickness, determined to give his team the best chance to win in the end, a trait that will serve him well as he moves on to his next ventures.”
1A Honorable Mention – Seth Sheppard
Monument Valley Senior Guard/Center/Forward – 14+ ppg
Head Coach Merrill Smith: “Seth is a great young man. He is the type who helps out his peers at school academically and socially and is easy to talk to. I enjoy working with in my class as well as coaching him on the court.
“Seth enjoys basketball. He probably would play all day if you let him. He puts a tempo in the game for the boys. If he wants to slow down the game he will slow the game down and observe the defense and call what needs to be done. The leadership in him is great. I will greatly miss his leadership on the court.”
1A Honorable Mention – D’Wayne Nakai
Whitehorse Junior Forward – 10.6 ppg
Head Coach Evan Grant: “D’Wayne is hard-working and very head strong with a big personality on and off the court. As soon as he steps on the court our opponents know that he is a threat. He just has so much confidence it spreads throughout the team.
“D'Wayne is a natural-born leader. Us coaches know that if we have to step away from practice for a minute that D'Wayne would make sure to keep everyone on task. He is funny and very outgoing.He excels academically and possesses a strong work ethic.
“He is an intelligent young man who works hard. He is determined to become better and I have no doubt he will do everything he puts his mind to. We are excited to have him back for another year.”