istoric accomplishments, state championships and college scholarships are some of the things The Champion’s 2012 all-county basketball team is noted for. Eight players were part of state championship teams, two were named McDonald’s All-Americans and several have signed scholarships to continue their education and basketball careers in college. There are several underclassmen who made invaluable contributions to their teams as well.
Here is a look at The Champion’s top boys’ and girls’ basketball players for 2011-12.
BOYS: Player of the Year: C Tony Parker, Miller Grove, 6-8 Sr.
A tireless worker, the McDonald’s All- American went through his entire high school career without losing a state playoff game to help the Wolverines win four straight state titles. Parker, who has not made his college choice, is one of the top recruits in the country. He averaged 16.8 points and 11 rebounds per game.
F Devin Bellamy, Chamblee, 6-5, Jr.
The junior emerged as one of the top all-around players in the area. He averaged 13.8 points and showed he was not afraid to mix it up against bigger players with an average of 9.9 rebounds per game. He also shot 59 percent from the field.
C William Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb, 6-8, Jr.
The University of Memphis signee can run the floor like a guard and pull up for a 3-pointer when needed. Goodwin, also a McDonald’s All-American, led the county in scoring (21.2 points per game) and field goal percentage (74 percent). He also averaged 12.3 rebounds per game.
G Tivius Guthrie, M.L. King, 5-7, Sr..
The spark that made the Lions go, Guthrie helped them to their best finish in school history—21-10 and a trip to the AAAAA Elite Eight. The Grambling State signee averaged 13 points and 6.5 assists per game. He led the county in 3-point shooting at 52 percent.
F Brandon Morris, Miller Grove, 6-7, Sr.
The University of Georgia signee showed the ability to be a clutch performer in big games. He averaged 10.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game and helped the Wolverines win four straight Class AAAA state titles.
G Keenan Palmore, Paideia, 6-2, Sr.
The Old Dominion University signee showed his versatility this season by becoming the first Python to record a triple-double. He also set the single-game school record for points with 45 against Tech High in January. Palmore helped the Pythons to four straight state playoff appearances.
G Jordan Price, Southwest DeKalb, 6-5, Sr.
A solid shooter who has the ability to take control of a game, Price signed with Auburn University over several other offers. He averaged 19.3 points per game and scored 17 points in March in the Panthers’ first trip to the state championship game.
G Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Columbia, 5-8, Jr.
A coach on the floor for the Eagles, the point guard helped the Eagles to their third straight state title. Shamsid-Deen led his team with 12.7 points per game and was tops in the county in assists with 303, which was more than 100 more than the second-highest total.
F Quinton Stephens, Marist, 6-8, Jr.
The combo forward already has several offers, including Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Auburn and Clemson. Stephens helped the War Eagles advance to the Class AAAA Elite Eight and averaged 19 points, five rebounds and four blocks per game.
F De’Aires Tate, M.L. King, 6-7, Sr.
The Grambling State University signee was a force close to the basket and helped the Lions to their best season with a trip to the Elite Eight in the Class AAAAA state tournament. Tate averaged 10.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, and shot 63 percent from the field.
F Jhaustin Thomas, Columbia, 6-7, Sr.
Thomas, who will attend the University of South Carolina on a football scholarship, was a physical leader for the Eagles under the basket. He averaged 11.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Thomas also had 93 blocks on the season.
Honorable mention: Greg King, M.L. King, Jarmal Reid, Columbia, Chris Horton, Columbia; Justin Colvin, Miller Grove; Quincy Tiller, Towers.
GIRLS: Player of the Year
G Lucy Mason, Chamblee, 5-6, Sr.
The county’s leading scorer, at 19.6 points per game, is also a tough defender and unselfish on offense. She averaged four steals and 4.7 assists per game, both among the top in the county. Her 39 points against Osborne tied for ninth all-time in the county.
F Queen Alford, Decatur, 5-8, Sr.
The University of Jacksonville signee leaves Decatur as one of the most prolific scorers and hardest workers in school history. She can score driving to the basket or shooting jumpers. She scored at least 24 points seven times.
G Danielle Clark, Stone Mountain, 5-8, Jr.
Clark reached the 1,000-point milestone as a junior and averaged 15.4 points per game. She led the county in assists (5.9 per game) and steals (5.8 per game). Her 49 3-pointers made was third-best in the county.
G Zuri Frost, Columbia, 5-3, Sr.
A floor leader in every sense. Her ball handling skills, defense, ability to see open passing lanes and her shooting touch make Frost one of the top point guards in the state. She averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 steals per game.
C Erykah Davenport, Tucker, 6-2, Soph.
Davenport became more of a scoring threat in her second season as a starter. She averaged 16 points per game, including a season-high of 25 against Shiloh, to go along with 8.7 rebounds per game.
F Tabitha Fudge, Miller Grove, 5-11, Sr.
One of the emotional and statistical leaders for the Wolverines. Fudge, who has signed a scholarship to attend High Point University in North Carolina, shot 52 percent from the field and helped the Wolverines win their first state title with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the title game.
F Nicole Martin, Southwest DeKalb, 5-9, Fr.
The freshman was instrumental in helping the Panthers advance to the AAAA championship game. Martin led all freshmen in the county in scoring (9.9 per game) and rebounding (8.6), and shot 71 percent from the free throw line.
F Bre McDonald, Chamblee, 6-0, Sr.
The Georgia Tech signee combined with Mason to form one of the best scoring combos in the state. McDonald averaged 18.3 points per game and scored more than 30 points twice. She averaged 10.7 rebounds per game and had a single-game high of 20.
F Kaliyah Mitchell, Stephenson, 6-1, Jr.
The second-year starter came into her own this year. Mitchell helped the Jaguars to their 11th straight 20-plus win season. Mitchell, who is equally effective close to the basket or out on the wing, averaged 12.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season.
G Miah Spencer, Columbia, 5-7, Jr.
Spencer became one of the best shooters in the area this season, making 63 percent (131 of 208) of her field goal attempts to lead the county. She also shot 36 percent from 3-point range and was a solid complement to Frost in the backcourt.
G Tashi Thompson, Miller Grove, 5-7 Jr.
Reliable shooter who took advantage of teams who paid too much attention to the Wolverines post players Klarissa Weaver and Tabitha Fudge. She had a season-high 27 points against Redan and scored at least 20 points six times.
Honorable mention: Klarissa Weaver, Miller Grove; Asia Durr, St. Pius; Charra Reeves, Stone Mountain; Tenisha Wallace, M.L. King; Erica Fontaine, Marist