News Release – Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association
For Immediate Release – March 9, 2023
Ohio Mr. Basketball Finalists Announced by OPSWA
OPSWA members voting now through noon Monday; winner announced Wednesday, March 15
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association has announced the finalists for the 2023 Ohio Mr. Basketball Award. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 15.
Voting is currently underway for the 216 registered OPSWA members and will end at noon on Monday, March 13.
The voting process is nearly identical to that used to determine the Heisman Trophy winner in college football. First place votes get three points, second-place votes get two points and third-place votes get one point.
The Ohio Mr. Basketball was selected by the Associated Press from 1988-2016. Since 2017 it has been presented by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.
The OPSWA All-Ohio boys basketball teams will begin being released on Wednesday, March 22.
2023 Ohio Mr. Basketball Finalists
Finalists listed in alphabetical order.
OPSWA membership voting ends at noon Monday, March 13.
Winner announced Wednesday, March 15.
Gabe Cupps – Centerville, 6-2 - Sr
RETURNING MR. BASKETBALL, 15.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.9 apg, 50.3% FG, 40.8% 3FG, 91.8% FT, 3.6 A/T; Leads league in assists per game; 5th in scoring; 3rd in steals, 10th in rebounding; Schools all-time leader in assists with 522 and is 2nd in career points with 1421 as of (2/1/23). McDonald’s All-American nominee, Gatorade POY nominee. Gabe runs our team and is the catalyst for everything we do offensively and defensively. His ability to score the ball multiple ways is vital for our team’s success, but his ability to take care of the basketball while creating shots for his teammates is one of the biggest reasons for our success. He impacts winning to the highest degree. Could have averaged over 25 a game, but did not play in the fourth quarter of 12 games due to large leads. In his 4 years of varsity basketball Gabe’s teams have a GWOC record of 40-5 and an overall record of 86-18.
Jerry Easter II, 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, Toledo Emmanuel Christian
Helped his team to a 19-3 record in the regular season with a league title and a No. 4 ranking in the final Associated Press state poll in Division III. Team is the No. 1 seed in its district entering Wednesday (March 1) semifinal games. Easter II is averaging 33.4 points per game, along with 7.9 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.1 assists through 21 regular season games. He shot 59 percent on two-pointers; 38 percent from three; and 75 percent at the free-throw line. ... scored 49 and 51 points in games this season; reached 1,000 points in his 34th career game. As a freshman, Easter II averaged 25 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 14 games before his season ended with a fractured wrist. Easter currently has 23 Division I scholarship offers.
Bede Lori, Caldwell, 6-4, Senior
28.8 ppg, 5 rbpg, 4 apg,, 3 spg 90% FT. OHSBCA North-South All-Star Game selection. OVAC All-Star Game selection. 1st team All-Ohio as junior (avg 28.3 pts). 2nd team All-Ohio as soph (avg 22 pts). 3rd team All-Ohio as frosh (avg 21.7 pts). 2-time district POY; 4-time all-OVAC; all-MOVL. Will finish with more than 2,300 career points, 600-plus rebounds; nearly 400 assists. Will finish as the state’s all-time leading free throw shooter (season/career percentage; 2nd/3rd&4th in consecutive FTs made; 2nd all-time career FTs made w 700-plus).
Darryn Peterson, Cuyahoga Falls CVCA, 6-5, so.
31.7 ppg; Peterson led CVCA to a Division II district final. He averaged 31.7 ppg, 9.3rpg, 2.0apg and 2.7spg … shot 56% FG and 42% 3pt … PAC-7 Player of the Year ... Currently has scholarship offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio State and many others. According to ESPN, Darryn is the #5 high school boys basketball player in the class of 2025. … Has the look of a future NBA player.
Devin Royal, Pickerington Central, 6-6, sr. F.
An Ohio State signee and a Mr. Basketball finalist in 2022 when he led his team to the state title, Royal was averaging 19.2 points, 7.7 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the field (41 from three-point range) for a top-seeded 19-5 team entering the district semifinals. He had 1,400 career points, second in program history.
Luke Skaljac, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 6-2, jr.
23.2 points — The NE Lakes District POY in Division I led Brecksville (19-3) to a Suburban League title and has offers from Kent State, Akron, Toledo and Ohio after emerging last year on a 22-win team. This season, also averaged 5.5 assists, 3.0 steals, shot 42 percent on 3-pointers.
Dailyn Swain, Columbus Africentric, 6-8, sr. G-F.
A Xavier signee, Swain averaged 18.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 3.6 steals and 2.6 blocks while shooting 66 percent from the field (37 percent from three-point range) and 75 percent at the line in leading his top-seeded state-ranked team to a 19-5 record entering the district semifinals. Entering the postseason, Swain was on the cusp of 1,400 career points.
Ohio Mr. Basketball Winners
2022 – Gabe Cupps, Centerville
2021 – Malaki Branham, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2020 – VonCameron Davis, Columbus Walnut Ridge
2019 – Samari Curtis, Xenia
2018 - Dane Goodwin, Upper Arlington
2017 - Kaleb Wesson, Westerville South
2016 - Xavier Simpson, Lima Senior
2015 - Luke Kennard, Franklin High School
2014 - Luke Kennard, Franklin High School
2013 - Marc Loving, Toledo St. John's Jesuit
2012 - Justin Fritts, Mentor
2011 - Trey Burke, Columbus Northland
2010 - Jared Sullinger, Columbus Northland
2009 - Jared Sullinger, Columbus Northland
2008 - William Buford, Toledo Libbey
2007 - Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky
2006 - O.J. Mayo, North College Hill
2005 - O.J. Mayo, North College Hill
2004 - Jamar Butler, Lima Shawnee
2003 - LeBron James, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2002 - LeBron James, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2001 - LeBron James, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2000 - (tie) Tony Stockman, Medina; Chester Mason, Cleveland South
1999 - Isaac Jefferson, Columbus West
1998 - William "Sonny" Johnson, Garfield Heights
1997 - Kenny Gregory, Independence
1996 - Jason Collier, Springfield Catholic
1995 - Damon Stringer, Cleveland Heights
1994 - Aaron Hutchins, Lima Central Catholic
1993 - Geno Ford, Cambridge
1992 - Greg Simpson, Lima Senior
1991 - Greg Simpson, Lima Senior
1990 - Bob Patton Jr., Youngstown Liberty
1989 - Jimmy Jackson, Toledo Macomber
1988 - Jimmy Jackson, Toledo Macomber
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