NRHS’ Drew earns top SNH honorPublished 10:20pm Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Matthew Hatfield
In order to achieve the unexpected, daily progression is essential. For Nansemond River High School 6-foot-5 senior forward Ed Drew, steady improvement proved to be a key to developing into one of the area’s better basketball players and someone who will get an opportunity to play the sport at the next level.
“In terms of improvement from one year to the next, Ed Drew ranks among the best I’ve had in that category,” Nansemond River basketball coach Ed Young said. “He’s gotten better every day since his first time in our program as a sophomore.”
His level play this year put Drew at the top of the list for the Suffolk News-Herald’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year for 2012-13.
His freshman year, Drew played on the junior varsity team at Nansemond River. The next season as a sophomore, he got moved up to varsity and played sparingly. He turned into a critical player, starting six games as a junior, and then he really blossomed in the off-season to take his game up a couple notches his senior year.
“He had some of the best post moves of any big men I saw in the region,” Young said. “We were going to play him mostly at the power forward position, but when our 6’7” junior center Daniel Wallace got hurt the second game of the year, we ended up playing him at the ‘5’ (center) position, and he showed that consistency, being a double-double guy and a major factor.”
This past season, Drew averaged 16.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game, registering 23 double-doubles in 25 contests for a Warriors team that finished 17-8 overall, 13-5 in the Southeastern District. His strong and consistent play gained him plenty of recognition.
Drew received First Team All-Eastern Region and All-Southeastern District honors, as well as being chosen Honorable Mention All-State by the Virginia High School Coaches Association. In addition, he will play in the VHSCA All-Star Game at Christopher Newport University in July.
“If you had told me all that would happen, I wouldn’t have believed you. Not even in October. But he’s worked for it, knew his limitations, and doesn’t do too many crazy things,” Young said.
“We needed to have him on the floor for us to win, which certainly speaks to a player’s value, and when he was in foul trouble it made things difficult for us. He meant so much to our team and I’m so happy for him and all the accolades that he has been getting in the off-season. “
Drew has yet to make a college choice. Among the schools he’s considering are in-state Division III programs, such as Virginia Wesleyan, CNU, Randolph-Macon, Emory & Henry.
2012-13 All-Suffolk Basketball Team:
- Jacorey Smith, King’s Fork (Senior) — An All-Suffolk selection for the second year in a row, Smith guided the Bulldogs to a Southeastern District Tournament championship and their second straight appearance in the Eastern Region Tournament semifinals. Chosen All-Southeastern District First Team and All-Eastern Region Second Team, Smith averaged 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals per game.
- Rod Parrett, King’s Fork (Senior) — As one of the Bulldogs’ senior leaders, Parrett made several big shots during the course of his King’s Fork career and led the team in three-pointers this past season with 41. Parrett averaged 12.5 points per game, and the Bulldogs were 58-20 during the last three seasons he played on varsity.
- Byron Taylor, King’s Fork (Senior) — A relentless defender who provided constant energy and hustle on both ends of the floor, Taylor was the catalyst in the Bulldogs’ double-overtime regional quarterfinal win over Norcom, with 14 points and 16 rebounds. The second-team All-Southeastern District performer averaged 9.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 steals this season.
- Deonta Knight, Lakeland (Freshman) — Few ninth graders are fortunate enough to get their feet wet on the varsity level, and an even smaller number contribute as significantly as Knight did for the Cavaliers. In 21 games of action, he averaged 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, putting him on track to be the first 1,000-point scorer at Lakeland if he continues the pace for the next three seasons.
- Devon Oakley, Nansemond River (Junior) — Averaging nearly 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks per game, Oakley made an immediate impact in his first year starting on varsity for the Warriors. One of his most impressive displays came in a comeback win at Western Branch, where he scored 16 fourth-quarter points.