Warren boys' basketball coach Blane Maddox had never seen one of his players earn first team All-Ohio honors in his career with the blue and white.
That is no longer the case, as Warrior junior Evan French was selected to the Division II All-Ohio first team Monday by The Associated Press.
French, a 6-foot-4 sharpshooting guard, has helped lead the Warren boys' basketball program to its first ever district and regional championships this season. On Thursday, French and the Warriors will take on St. Vincent-St. Mary at Value City Arena with an appearance in the Ohio Division II state championship game on the line.
Photo courtesy of Robin Pannell
Warren’s Evan French (25) attempts a shot in a Division II district semifinal game against Unioto March1. French, who is averaging 19.7 points per game, was named first team Division II All-Ohio by The Associated Press Monday.
To say Maddox was thrilled for his player would be an understatement.
"It's freakin' awesome," Maddox exclaimed.
"It's fantastic. It's wonderful. I'm just ecstatic. If anybody deserves it, he does."
AP Boys Division II All-Ohio H.S. basketball team
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The 2012-13 Associated Press Division II All-Ohio boys basketball team, based on the recommendations of a media panel:
FIRST TEAM: Vitto Brown, Bowling Green, 6-8, sr., 23.7; Randal Clarkson, Cols. Brookhaven, 5-10, sr., 13.8; Dan Monteroso, St. Clairsville, 6-3, sr., 26.5; Luke Kennard, Franklin, 6-5, soph., 28.0; Lucas Strouble, Alliance Marlington, 6-5, sr., 21.2; Maurice O'Field, Cleve. John Hay, 6-5, sr., 15.9; Evan French, Vincent Warren, 6-4, jr., 19.5; Dakota Mathias, Elida, 6-4, jr., 25.5.
Players of the year: Dan Monteroso, St. Clairsville; Luke Kennard, Franklin; Vitto Brown, Bowling Green.
Coaches of the year: Joe Petrocelli, Kettering Alter; Doug Davis, Lima Bath; David Bargar, Chagrin Falls; Frank Spotleson, Canton South.
SECOND TEAM: Bryan Jackson, Cols. Watterson, 6-4, sr., 14.0; Kyle Ritz, Cambridge, 6-6, sr., 19.0; Bob Peters, Cuyahoga Falls CVCA, 6-2, sr., 23.8; VJ King, Akron SVSM, 6-7, fresh., 17.0; Zack Denny, Germantown Valley View, 6-2, sr., 35.0; Chelvonte Montgomery, Cleve. Cent. Cath., 6-1, jr., 18.0; Mark Baniewicz, Mentor Lake Cath., 6-3, sr., 16.6; Jordan Kidd, McArthur Vinton County, 6-2, sr., 19.0.
THIRD TEAM: Boo Osborne, Cols. Centennial, 6-3, sr., 19.0; Jordan Tomlinson, Delaware Buckeye Valley, 6-3, sr., 22.4; Mason Mamarella, Dover, 6-0, sr., 19.5; Armand Fontes, Canton South, 5-10, sr., 17.3; Jordan Lauf, Napoleon, 6-5, sr., 21.6; Nic Williams, Sandusky Perkins, 6-4, jr., 19.4; Taren Sullivan, Lima Bath, 6-4, jr., 15.7; Chris Shkil, Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, 6-8, sr., 15.3; Jack Thome, Chagrin Falls, 6-7, sr., 16.7; Noah Bidar, Chesterland W. Geauga, 6-0, sr., 17.0; Joe Burrow, Athens, 6-3, soph., 16.0.
Babe Murphy, Pataskala Licking Hts.; Jordan Tomlinson, Delaware Buckeye Valley; Brady Arnold, Millersburg West Holmes; Periogn West, Steubenville; Ethan Boose, New Philadelphia; Stephen Ericksen, Carrollton; Mark Alstork, Day. Thurgood Marshall; Austin Grimes, Cin. Aiken; Jaaron Simmons, Kettering Alter; Cameron Kuhn, Vermilion; Sam Bentz, Hunting Valley Univ. School; Evan Maddox, Proctorville Fairland; Dillon Young, Circleville Logan Elm; Zach Johnson, Chillicothe; Jordan Barr, Lancaster Fairfield Union; J.J. Kukura, Alliance; Ryan Bush, Salem; Jacob Wolfe, Poland Seminary; DeAllen Jackson, Akron Hoban; Jalen Hudson, Akron SVSM; Derik Lewis, Akron East.
Demetrius Carr, Cols. Whitehall-Yearling; James Davis, Cols. East; John Draper, Cols. Eastmoor Acad.; Deiondray Martin, Cols. Brookhaven; J Murrell, Cols. Mifflin;
Marco Colombo, New Philadelphia; Parker Evans, New Concord John Glenn; Alex Young, Wintersville Indian Creek; Riley Carlton, St. Clairsville; Chase Hambel, Philo; Blake Albaugh, Uhrichsville Claymont; Fletcher Watt, Cadiz Harrison Central;
Jaevin Cumberland, Wilmington; Jamar Hammonds, Trotwood-Madison; Amos "AJ" Harris, Dayton Dunbar; Travis Lakins, Franklin; Jaelin Williams, Springfield Shawnee;
Mark McCrone, Rocky River; Liam Sullivan, Chagrin Falls; Joe Hyster, Oberlin Firelands; Connor McLaughlin, Ashtabula Edgewood; DeAndre Austin, Hunting Valley Univ. School; John Cirillo, Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin; Cale Burdyshaw, Perry; Zavier Powers, Mentor Lake Cath.;
Blake Baldwin, WCH Miami Trace; Derek Shaw, WCH Washington; Reece Patton, Vincent Warren; Ibi Watson, Athens; L.B. Remy, McArthur Vinton County; Chase Detillion, Chillicothe Unioto; Cody Midkiff, Proctorville Fairland; Justin Bailey, Gallipolis Gallia Acad.;
Doug Caputo, Youngs. Mooney; Jermaine Justice, Ravenna; Tyler Sherman, Norton; Victor Dorsey, Akron Springfield; Tyler Jones, Akron Buchtel; Damon Bowman, Akron North; Demetrious Ray, Akron East; Caleb Kleibscheidel, Cuyahoga Falls CVCA; Nick Wells, Akron SVSM;
Derek Gray, Clyde; Collin Bzovi, Wauseon; Garet Fledderjohann, St. Marys Memorial; Mason Willeke, Lexington; A.C. Limes, Tontogany Otsego; Jalen Santoro, Bellevue.
French, who was informed of the honor via a phone call from Maddox, was somewhat shocked.
"I was kind of overwhelmed and surprised," French said. "I guess it shows that hard work pays off."
French's classmate Reece Patton was also listed on the honorable mention list.
"I'm glad to see (Patton) is honorable mention," Maddox said. "Maybe he can get up there in the first, second or third team next year."
For the Warrior program, it's the first time a boys' basketball player has earned All-Ohio honors since Austin Cunningham made the third team in 2011.
Cunningham currently plays for Division II Shepherd University.
French, who has NBA-range from beyond the arc but can also drive to the hole, will likely get plenty of collegiate looks as well.
He led the royal blue and white with 533 points this season, which averages out to 19.7 points per game for the 26-1 Warriors.
French posted 5.3 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block per contest in 2012-13. He also shot 42 percent from the field, including 35.5 percent from deep and 81.7 percent from the foul line.
French has always been quick to credit his teammates for his success.
"They've been the best," French said. "They're always helping me out and picking me up when I'm down."
As Warren heads into the Final Four, French believes the honor could provide confidence.
"I don't know how it can't," he said. "Something like that can boost the whole team."
Overall, French said the honor is something very special to him.
"It means a lot to me," he said. "It's pretty important for the community as well."