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My Guards are Outstanding

My Guards are Outstanding

The St John Neumann Golden Knights had an amazing year on the hardwood. My phone continues to ring, and we are still trending. Everywhere we go. Someone will always extend a hand and want to talk basketball — even a month after the season. It is beautiful. Last week, Senator Gene Yaw stopped by to honor us with some fancy citations. My guys are rockstars. Yes. The individual accolades and awards keep on coming. I am so proud of every single member of my hoops squad.

I told you before that my players and assistants deserve all of the credit. “My guys make me look good both on and off.” I use this line all the time, and it is now TM pending. I am hoping to cash in before it shows up on a billboard or something. I learned my lesson back in 2016 when Casper took over. The entire SJNRA hoops squad is an impressive group. Mid Penn Champs. District IV Champs. PIAA Eastern Regional Champs. PIAA Class A State Runners Up. We accomplished so much. But then the third-quarter report cards come out. Dude? 12 out of 18 of my players made the honor roll. That is impressive. Five out of my six seniors too. Off the charts. Bravo boys. You will be rewarded.

Again, I am extremely humbled by all the praise. The Coach of the Year stuff is nice, but I share these achievements with the entire family. They are team awards. Period. Kudos to Teach and Jensen. They sacrifice so much for my passion. Coaching today is tough, and I owe them so much. The same goes for my guys. They believed in me and found ways to get things done. You can’t put a price on the joys and memories we shared. I will also say that it was never easy. Perhaps that is why we are still smiling. We share a bond.

Drum roll, please. I received the news while I was fishing. The only bad thing was that I had to keep it a secret. What? The PIAA All-State basketball teams weren’t to be released until the following weekend. Dude. I only told a select few and immediately reached out to my players. I already knew that I had one of the best backcourts in the entire galaxy. I was just so happy that our friends in the media felt the same way.

Davion Hill is a stud. The 6’1 junior continues to amaze. He had an incredible season, and that is why Davion Hill was recently named the 2022 PIAA Class A Player of the Year.

Davion averaged a district best 26.1 points a game. He also tallied 7.9 rebs and 3.8 assists. Davion drilled 50 three-pointers and routinely dominated every game. Hill is now a three-time first-team all-state guard. That’s insane. He was at his very best when we made our postseason run.

Davion averaged 29.2 points and 10.2 rebounds during the state playoffs. He was an absolute animal on both ends. It was incredible. Hill dropped 39 against Nativity. He went for 31 and claimed 19 rebounds against Linville Hill. Davion scored 30 points in the State final. His junior campaign was one of the area’s best. He scored a staggering 783 points this season. Again. Teams are doing their best to limit his touches. Davion has already tallied 1,876 points in just three seasons. He has helped us go 64-14 during that time frame. Impressive.

Davion has a will and desire that may even match his talent. He continues to grow and is always getting better. The sky’s the limit for this young lad. Folks often ask me if he can play at the next level. I tell them ABSOLUTELY. He is just getting started. Davion is starting to get some big-time college interest. He is playing with all the big names in AAU, and he is holding his own. I am very proud of Davion and all he has accomplished. I haven’t met or seen anyone who has his entire package. He deserved this.

I am so proud of Hanief Clay. My senior point guard also had an outstanding season. I knew he would get some love, but when I heard he made the 2022 PIAA Class A First-Team, I went crazy; his unbelievable story is well chronicled. What a great kid, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Clay is a rocket, an exceptional ball-handler with unbelievable vision. He averaged 19.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 4.6 steals per contest. Hanief is a fierce competitor who constantly stuffed our stat sheets. He shined against other top guards and scored over 30 points three times this season. Clay had seven steals in the State Championship, and he topped 900 career points in just two years. Remember. Hanief couldn’t play his entire sophomore campaign for some bogus reasons.

COACH? YOU SERIOUS? Is what I heard on the other line. THAT IS AMAZING. I AM SO BLESSED. THANK YOU, COACH. I only wish I had recorded that conversation. I was so happy and thrilled for this kid. Hanief Clay is a winner. He continues to impress me each day. Hanief works so hard in the classroom. He has been on the High Honor Roll every semester. Clay will be the first in his family to head to college this summer. I can’t say enough about him. Hanief is one of my all-time favorites. It has been a true joy to watch him mature and develop. An absolute honor to have him call me coach. First-team All-State is a great way to cap off a scholastic career. Better things ahead. Congratulations Hanief. My guys make me look good both on and off. Cheers.