PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CPA, Jr., 6-8 forward
» Why chosen: Blackwell captured his second straight Class AA Mr. Basketball honor after leading the Lions (28-2) to the state semifinals. He averaged 20.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 56 percent from the floor.
» College plans: He has 25 Division I scholarship offers, including several from the SEC.
» Quote: “I’m not really worried about expectations. I know a lot of people expect me to play really good every game, but, like everyone else, I’m human and I’ll have a bad game or an off night. Trying to stay focused the whole season was the main goal this year.”
» Family: Parents, Thomas and Robin Blackwell; and brother Austin (21).
» Athletic background: “I played football for the majority of my life but gave it up when I hit a growth spurt and pursued basketball. I’ve played AAU with the Nashville Celtics. I’ll miss playing with the (CPA) seniors, especially Micah Davis and Parker Howell.”
» How did you spend spring break? “I went to Panama City Beach with my mom and brother, Austin, and it was pretty cool just being able to get away from a few things, relax and enjoy God’s creations.”
» Best high school sports moment: “When my school had an assembly after spring break on what I thought was winning Mr. Basketball. Instead it was about how I carried myself in front of everyone who booed (me) — a high school athlete — for winning an award. So at the assembly, we relived the moment and rather than booing everyone cheered for a couple minutes. It gave me chills!”
» Favorite team and athlete? “I’ve always loved the Philadelphia Eagles and I’m starting to like the (Tennessee) Titans, too. NBA-wise, I gotta go with the Lakers. I wish Kobe (Bryant) was healthy, he’s the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time).”
» Where do you see yourself in 10 years? “Hopefully in the NBA doing what I love to do, and continuing to inspire people younger and older than myself.”
» What do you think of Blackman’s Crystal Dangerfield? “Crystal is awesome. We talk every now and then just about everything. She’s an amazing basketball player — I mean she’s going to UConn — but she’s an even nicer and sweeter person and I’m thankful for our friendship. One of these days we will need to play one on one! I wish her nothing but the best of luck and can’t wait to see what God has in store for her.”
East Nashville, Jr.
College: Lipscomb and Austin Peary have offered, while MTSU, USC Upstate, Western Kentucky and Murray State have shown interest.
Why chosen: The District 10-AA MVP averaged 20 points, 6.5 rebounds and two assists, leading the 28-3 Eagles to a second consecutive district title.
White County, Sr.
College: Lee, Freed-Hardeman, Carson-Newman and Georgetown (Ky.) have offered.
Why chosen: District 6-AAA MVP averaged 23 points, 6.7 rebounds and shot 50 percent from the floor, leading the 30-4 Warriors to their first state tournament since 1999.
Davidson Academy, Sr.
College: Samford signee.
Why chosen: The DII-A Mr. Basketball finalist led Davidson Academy to its first state tournament appearance in school history, averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
College: Committed to Freed-Hardeman
Why chosen: The District 11-AAA MVP averaged 20.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, leading the 30-7 Bruins to a Class AAA runner-up.
F: John Payne, Goodpasture, Sr., 24.0
F : Isaac Edmondson, Creek Wood, Sr., 18.0
C: Kevontay Davis, Hillsboro, Sr., 13.0
G: Jordan Sandifer, Pearl-Cohn, Sr., 22.5
G: Tripp Davis, Lighthouse Chr., Sr.
F: Austin Douglas, Cheatham Co., Jr., 20.3
F: Wade Eldridge, Livingston Acad., Sr., 18.0
G: Jalen Lawson, Brentwood, Sr., 16.1
G: Jordan Bone, Ensworth, Jr., 16.2
G: Nick Hopkins, Fayetteville, Jr., 22.2
F: Yalen Reed, Station Camp, Jr., 10.7
F: Jy’lan Washington, Stewarts Creek, Sr., 17.5
G: William Alexander, Maplewood, Sr., 23.0
G: Kenny Cooper, Franklin Road Acad., Jr., 17.8
G: Darius Garland, Brentwood Acad., Fr., 13.0