Two national college recruits are the Observers 2012-13 All-Mecklenburg girls and boys high school basketball players of the year.
Providence Days Jatarie White and West Charlotte McDonalds All-American Kennedy Meeks take home the honors this season.
Each year, the Observer annually selects an All-Region team for players outside Mecklenburg County, plus an All-Mecklenburg team. Finally, an All-Observer team is announced that lists the top overall players in the newspapers 133-school coverage area in North and South Carolina.
Players had to be nominated by their schools to be considered for the teams, which were selected by the newspapers high school sports staff. The All-Region team ran Thursday and is available at charlotteobserver.com/preps
The All-Observer team will appear Sunday along with Mr. and Ms. Basketball for North and South Carolina and the final Sweet 16 poll of the season.
White, a 6-foot-3 junior, is ranked No. 12 nationally by ESPN. She was named the N.C. Gatorade and N.C. Associated Press state player of the year. She was the fourth Mecklenburg County girl to win the AP award in five years, following Cierra Burdick (2010, 2011) and Christal Caldwell (2009). Burdick and Caldwell were also named All-Observer player of the year in those four years.
This season, White averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. She led the Chargers to their fourth straight state championship. White is uncommitted for college.
Meeks was one of two N.C. players to play in the McDonalds All-American game, along with Oxford Webbs Isaiah Hicks. Hicks and Meeks will play in college at North Carolina. Meeks was only the third Charlottean to play in the McDonalds game, following Providences Antawn Jamison (1995) and West Charlotte/Oak Hill (Va.) guard Jeff McInnis (1993).
Meeks was the only N.C. player to play in the Jordan Brand Classic earlier this month in New York.
This year, he averaged 19 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Meeks makes the All-Mecklenburg first team for the third straight season.
• The boys coach of the year is Olympics Ty Baumgardner, who led his team to a 30-0 season and a N.C. 4A championship. Olympic was the first Mecklenburg County public school to go unbeaten since West Charlotte in 1986. Baumgardners team finished the year ranked No. 11 in USA Todays national poll. Baumgardner was also the first Mecklenburg County coach to win the N.C. Associated Press boys coach of the year.
• The girls coach of the year is North Mecklenburgs Jennifer Baker. Baker led North Meck to a 26-4 record and took the Vikings to the N.C. Western Regional tournament for the fourth time in school history and first time since 20008.
North Meck, which won three playoff games, won with defense, limiting 11 opponents to 40 points or fewer. Bakers Vikings lost one conference game in the tough I-Meck 4A conference and won the regular-season championship.
2012-13 All-Mecklenburg Basketball Teams
Jatarie White, Providence Day, 6-3, Jr., F: Averaged 19 ppg, 10 rpg and 3.5 blocks; Gatorade N.C. player of year led her team to NCISAA 3A state title.
Destiny Barrino, North Mecklenburg, 5-8, Jr., G: I-Meck 4A conference player of the year led the Vikings to a 26-4 record and their first regional appearance in five years. Averaged 13 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 spg, 2 apg.
Milan Quinn, Berry, 6-2, Sr., C: Wake Forest recruit was named ME-GA 7 conference player of the year and first team all-district. Averaged 17.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.2 apg; shot 55 percent
D.D. Rogers, Myers Park, 6-0, So., F: Leading scorer for 29-1 team that was nationally ranked nearly all season. Averaged 13.4 ppg, 2.4 bpg, 2.7 spg. Named Southwestern 4A player of the year.
Abrea Harris, Harding, 5-9, Sr, G: MVP of Hardings second straight N.C. 3A state title. Rams became first Mecklenburg County public school girls team to repeat. Also voted MVP of regional final. UAB signee averaged 10.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.4 apg
Myicha Drakeford, Harding, 5-9, Jr., F; Aliyah Mazyck, Myers Park, 5-9, So., G; Jessica Gaston, West Charlotte, 5-10, So., F; Jasmine Gray, West Mecklenburg, 5-7, So, G; Erin Whalen, Ardrey Kell, 6-1, Fr, F
Brianna Hamrick, Harding, 6-1, Jr., G/F; Beth Erb, Country Day, 5-5, Sr., G; Jada Brayboy, Providence Day, 5-7, Sr., PG; Shaigna Wentz, Queens Grant, 5-11, So., F; Desiree Newman, Charlotte United Christian, 5-9, Fr., F
Player of the year: White, Providence Day
Coach of the year: Jennifer Baker, North Mecklenburg
Kennedy Meeks, West Charlotte, 6-10, Sr., F: McDonalds All-American and UNC recruit is three-time all-state pick; averaged 19 ppg, 16 rpg, three assists and three blocks.
Luke Maye, Hough, 6-7, So., F: Averaged 19 ppg, 14 rpg and two assists; had 26 double-doubles and led team to first NCHSAA 4A Western regional berth.
BJ Gladden, Olympic, 6-5, Sr, F: Akron recruit averaged 13 ppg, 8 rpg to lead Olympic to a 30-0 season and the schools first state basketball championship. District 9 player of the year.
James Demery, Northside Christian, 6-6, Jr., G/F: Averaged 17 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 spg, 3 apg for two-time N.C. Independent Schools 2A champions. Named 2A state player of the year. Major college recruit.
Cazmon Hayes, Berry, 6-4, Sr, G: Delaware recruit and ME-GA 7 player of the year averaged 24 ppg, 6 rpg. First team all-district selection led his team to second round of the 3A playoffs.
Steven Santa-Ana, Ardrey Kell, 6-3, So., G; Keyshawn Woods, Northside Christian, 6-5, Jr., G; Torin Dorn, Vance, 6-4, Jr., G; Alec Wintering, United Faith, 5-9, Sr., PG; Jordan Watkins, Providence Day, 6-0, Jr., G
Aaron Linton, Harding, 5-3, Sr., G; Tayon Gleaves, Independence, 5-11, Jr., PG; Giovanni Mack, Providence, 5-9, Jr., G; Deriece Parks, Olympic, 6-5, Sr., G; Raekwon Long, Garinger, 7-0, Fr, C
Player of the year: Meeks, West Charlotte
Coach of the year: Ty Baumgardner, Olympic
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