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Nansemond River senior forward Ed Drew has been a consistent leader for the Warriors this year, posting double figures in points and rebounds in 16 of the 17 games played. His hard work and teachable attitude have helped make him into a highly recruited player. He received 640 votes to become the Player of the Week.

‘Push and motivation’

Published 9:31pm Saturday, January 26, 2013

NRHS’ Drew hits big numbers to lead Warriors

Though many superlatives could be used to describe Nansemond River senior forward Ed Drew, two words that are especially fitting are hungry and humble. After producing his 16th double-double in 17 games last week, he received his fifth nomination and 640 votes to become the Suffolk News-Herald’s Player of the Week.

Drew helped lead the Warriors to a 3-0 record last week in the face of some of his team’s stiffest competition and the specter of losing a couple of wins to forfeit due to an ineligible player.

NR, now tied for second in the district with King’s Fork, began the week by defeating the Bulldogs 50-47. Drew was clutch in the end, leading the team with 15 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three blocks and two steals.

Against Lakeland, he had 13 points, 12 rebounds, eight blocks, three steals and two assists. Ending the week against Deep Creek, he chipped in 11 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.

“It’s just a matter of push and motivation,” Drew said.

NR head coach Ed Young has high praise for Drew.

“He’s worked on skills to the point where, I think, as an inside player, he’s among the top – in reality for me — three or four big men in the region,” he said.

Drew seems pretty pleased with the direction of his senior season.

“It really has gone well,” he said. “I thank God for that, for helping me push for those double-doubles every game.”

“He can score on most anybody I’ve seen,” Young said. “This includes what he did in the offseason.”

During summer league games, Drew was already at work putting up the kind of numbers he has displayed in the regular season.

“That doesn’t happen a lot,” Young said. “You’ll see some kids perform well in the offseason when there’s less pressure and then production drops off during the regular season. His has maintained if not increased, and that’s the thing I’m most proud about him.”

“He made himself into a recruited athlete,” Young said.

Of course, Drew had to pour in a lot of hard work to get to this point, and it all started in Texas. He lived there for the first 10 years of his life, and that was where he first gained experience in sports, winning championships in recreational leagues for flag football and baseball.

When he was six years old, he was introduced to basketball.

“It just all started when my dad got a basketball goal and he put it in the driveway,” Drew said.

His younger brother, Adrian, who plays on the NR junior varsity team, was a basketball player first.

“I guess he played at five years old and after seeing him playing, I started asking my dad — I wanted to play, too, because basketball looked like a fun and competitive sport to me,” Drew said.

He won at least three championships with a rec basketball team in Texas. After moving to Virginia, he began playing in the Futures League under coach Marius James. Drew played JV as a ninth grader at NR and then moved up to varsity as a sophomore. He has never stopped developing as a player.

If the Warriors have a star player this year, the numbers say it is Drew.

“We don’t really have a star method as we’ve had in the past, but if he’s not on the floor, especially the offensive end, we’re in trouble,” Young said.

Drew is being recruited by a lot of the top Division III schools in the state and some of the Division II schools, as well. Young said the scouts have asked him about Drew’s personality.

“He’s kind of reserved and humble, which is good, because I think if anybody has a right to brag, it would be him, but he doesn’t,” Young said.

Following are this week’s Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week nominees:

  • Caitlin Hankins, junior center for First Baptist Christian basketball — She was an important presence for the Lady Crusaders under the basket and frequently their key to scoring, leading her team with 15 points and eight rebounds against Tabernacle of Prayer Christian.
  • Jessica Pieroni, junior forward for Nansemond-Suffolk basketball — As she has been all season long, Pieroni continued to be a leader for her team, putting up a double-double against Walsingham, 11 points and 11 rebounds, to go with three steals. She also had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists in less than 19 minutes of play against Peninsula Catholic.
  • Nathan VanDorn, senior guard for First Baptist Christian basketball — He led the Crusaders with 13 points and five steals in a tight battle with Tabernacle of Prayer Christian.
  • Morgan Wentz, freshman guard for Nansemond-Suffolk basketball — Even as a freshman, he has been a player that Coach Randolph Davis has relied upon to run the point all season, and he led the team in scoring in a close game against Peninsula Catholic with 12 points.

Vote by 7 p.m. Wednesday by sending an email with the subject “Player of the Week” to sports@suffolknewsherald.com. You can also vote on our Facebook page and on the Suffolk News-Herald homepage.

Next Sunday, we’ll feature the readers’ choice in a story on the sports page.

Spread the word.

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