G.W. Carver’s Brandon Austin averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and 1.5 blocks per game while leading the Wolverines to the Class 6A state championship.
Austin scored 20 points in the state championship game and was named the MVP, winning his second title (2012). The Alabama signee is the sixth straight player from Carver to win the All-Metro Player of the Year, joining Craig Sword (2010-12), Jeremy Johnson (2013) and Demetrius Houston (2014).
He was named Class 6A first-team All-State, marking the sixth straight year Carver has had an All-State player. He was an Alabama-Mississippi All-Star, and is a three-time All-Metro selection.
How’s it feel to be the Player of the Year?
It feels great, I worked for it. I think my coaches prepared me for it, so it feels great.
How was this year different being the main guy?
It was kind of rough coming along. Everyone wants to beat you because you’re signed with a school. So it was tough, everybody wanted to put me in a box-and-one. Everybody thought the rest of our team couldn’t score. So I think we did well proving people wrong.
You won a championship as freshman, how did this year compare?
It took a lot of weight off my shoulders. Me not scoring in the semifinals last year, people said if I would’ve scored it would’ve been different, we would’ve won. It was a lot on me, but I think I came back and did very well for myself this last year.
How long did that semifinals game stick with you?
Almost until the end of the year. It stuck with me a long time because I was dreaming about it. “What could’ve I done for my team? What would’ve changed the game?” But I couldn’t dwell on it too much because I had to get in the gym and work for next year.
I couldn’t tell you. After a while I was just down on myself, I didn’t even want to shoot. It took me a long time to just be like, “OK I just want to go back into the gym and play with my teammates,” because I know they were kind of mad at me. I tried to make up for it this year.
Ready to go play for Alabama?
I’m looking forward to playing with the whole Alabama team. They have some great athletes, so I think I’ll fit in very well.
How do you feel about Alabama not having a coach?
I’m still going to be there with the team, because that’s my team. That’s the school I want to go to, so that’s where I want to be.
If you were forced to sing karaoke, what are you picking?
I don’t sing, I don’t dance. I really couldn’t tell you. But if I had to, I’d say Usher.
Where would you go if you had one round trip in a time machine?
I think I’d go back to that semifinal game. That was one of the worst days of my life. That hurt me very much to see myself and my team cry after that game. I know I could’ve done something to help.
Class 6A-7A All-Metro Boys Basketball
Player of the Year: Brandon Austin, G.W. Carver
Brandon Austin, 6-5, Sr., G, G.W. Carver
Led the Class 6A state champion Wolverines with 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Scored 20 points in the state championship game and was named MVP. First-team All-State selection. Alabama-Mississippi All-Star. Second team All-Metro last season. Alabama signee.
Tommy Burton, 6-9, Sr., F, Robert E. Lee
Averaged 16.2 points and eight rebounds a game for the Class 7A state semifinalist Generals. First-team All-State selection. Alabama-Mississippi All-Star. Transferred from St. Jude. Second-team 1A-4A All-Metro last season.
Roderic Scott, 6-0, Jr., G, Robert E. Lee
Averaged 11.9 points, four assists and three steals per game for the Class 7A state semifinalist Generals. Third-team All-State selection. Transferred from St. Jude. Honorable mention 1A-4A All-Metro last season.
Antonio Nelson, 6-1, Jr., G, G.W. Carver
Averaged 9.4 points, seven assists and five steals a game for the Class 6A state champion Wolverines. Scored 16 points in the state championship game.
Trenton Clayton, 6-9, Sr., F, Robert E. Lee
Averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game for the Class 7A state semifinalist Generals. Alabama-Mississippi All-Star. Honorable mention All-Metro last season. Southeast Louisiana signee.
Darian Adams, 6-3, Jr., G, G.W. Carver
Averaged 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals per game for the Class 6A state champion Wolverines. Transferred from St. Jude.
Kendarius Hartwell, 5-7, Jr., G, Robert E. Lee
Averaged 12 points, five assists and three steals a game for the Class 7A state semifinalist Generals. Second-team All-Metro last season.
Joseph Strugg, 6-8, Sr., F, G.W. Carver
Averaged seven points, 11 rebounds and four blocks per game for the Class 6A state champion Wolverines. Mississippi State signee.
Kavaris Thomas, 6-2, Jr., G, Park Crossing
Averaged 14.5 points and 3.5 steals a game for the Thunderbirds.
Courtland Holloway, 6-5, Jr., F, Wetumpka
Averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Indians.
Jeff Davis: Justin Norman, Tommy Russell; Park Crossing: Jahod Booker; Prattville: C.J. Coleman, Andre McBride; Robert E. Lee: Jonathan Wiley; Stanhope Elmore: Zach Byrd, B.J. Smith; Wetumpka: Antonio George.
COACH OF THE YEAR
James “J.J.” Jackson, G.W. Carver
Led the Wolverines to a Class 6A state championship, his second title in four years. Wolverines had a 29-4 record and reached the state semifinals for the sixth straight year. In 14 seasons at Carver, Jackson is 384-69.
Teams compiled by Ethan Bernal in consultation with area coaches. The All-Metro area covers Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore and Lowndes counties.