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University of Cincinnati signee Samari Curtis named Ohio Division I player of the year

Cincinnati Enquirer logo Cincinnati Enquirer 3/20/2019 Scott Springer

After averaging 34.4 points per game for the Xenia High School Buccaneers, Samari Curtis has been named the Ohio Division I player of the year. by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. Curtis signed with the University of Cincinnati Bearcats and coach Mick Cronin back on Nov. 14.

"Samari is a tremendous recruit for our program," Cronin said then. "He is a tough, hard-nosed player, who could score over 2,000 points by the end of his high school career. He can pass, score and defend with toughness. I love his competitive spirit. Much like Jarron Cumberland, it is always great to add a player to our program that has been the best in southern Ohio for his entire career."

a man standing on a basketball court: Samari Curtis is a four-year starter for Xenia and a UC recruit © The Enquirer/Scott Springer Samari Curtis is a four-year starter for Xenia and a UC recruit

Curtis surpassed 2,000 in his prep career late this season. He scored over 40 points in a game nine times, including a high of 52 points against Bellefontaine in February. Curtis also snared 5.9 rebounds per game and dished out 4.9 assists. He is 6-foot-4 and projected as a point guard for the Bearcats. 

Curtis was initially a Xavier commit before turning his interests toward the Bearcats. Coming into the season he was listed as a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com and the fourth best player in Ohio. Rivals.com listed as one of the Top 150 players in the Class of 2019.

"I always kind of thought UC was the right kind of fit for him," Xenia coach Kent Anderson said. "I totally respected what Coach Cronin told him. They spent two hours here one day at an open gym. He said, 'We want you at UC. Don't settle on a mid-major. You're not a mid-major kid. You need to go challenge yourself.'"

Curtis appreciated the brutal honesty he heard from Coach Cronin and assistant coach Antwon Jackson.

"He didn't push me, he didn't sell me a dream," Curtis said of Cronin. "I didn't want to hear that.  I didn't want to hear, 'You're going to start as a freshman.' He told me I needed to work when I get in."

Here is the full rundown of Division I players honored in Ohio. Ohio's Mr. Basketball award will be announced Thursday morning.

In addition to Curtis, Moeller High School's Miles McBride was named first team. He'll be joining Bob Huggins at West Virginia. Alec Pfriem of the Crusaders made third team. Bash Wieland of Lakota East was special mention, D’Marco Howard of Hamilton and Moeller’s Max Land were honorable mention 

2019 DIVISION I BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-OHIO

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Samari Curtis, Xenia (Cincinnati signee)

COACH OF THE YEAR: Bob Krizancic, Mentor

FIRST TEAM

Ben Roderick, Powell Olentangy Liberty, 6-foot-5, sr., 25.9 points per game; VonCameron Davis, Columbus Walnut Ridge, 6-5, jr., 27.5; Devon Grant, Lorain, 6-0, sr., 26.1; Kaleb Martin, Green, 5-9, sr., 19.4; Samari Curtis, Xenia, 6-4, sr., 34.4; Bo Myers, Logan, 6-5, sr., 27.4; Miles McBride Moeller, 6-2, sr., 14.1; Andre Gordon, Sidney, 6-2, sr., 22.6; Alek West, Sylvania Northview, 6-4, sr., 20.2; Andre Harris, Lyndhurst Brush, 6-3, sr., 17.0.

SECOND TEAM

Kyle Goessler, Brunswick, 6-2, sr., 22.4; Javohn Garcia, Pickerington Central, 6-3, sr., 20.1; Luke Floriea, Mentor, 5-10, jr., 19.1; Lunden McDay, Akron St, Vincent-St. Mary, 6-3, sr., 16.5; Ra'Heim Moss, Springfield, 6-4, sr., 18.0; Michael Kreill, Vandalia Butler, 6-1, sr., 15.3; Jack Sawyer, Pickerington North, 6-5, soph., 22.2; Josiah Fulcher, Lima Senior, 6-1, jr., 17.1; Eddie Colbert, Toledo Whitmer, 6-6, sr., 20.1; Kade Ruegsegger, Dover, 6-3, jr., 16.2.

THIRD TEAM

Samuel Emich, Copley, 6-6, sr., 16.8; Sencire Harris, North Canton Hoover, 6-4, fr., 20.4; Matt Allocco, Hilliard Bradley, 6-4, jr., 16.3; Dominiq Penn, Dublin Coffman, 6-0, jr., 19.9; Sean Marks, Lewis Center Olentangy, 5-10, sr., 19.8, 6-2, sr., 14.1; Alec Pfriem, Moeller, 6-4, sr., 15.0; Jackie Harris, Toledo St. Francis, 6-7, sr., 21.8; Taevon Pierre-Louis, Lorain, 6-6, sr., 18.0; Eric Hanna, Olmsted Falls, 6-0, sr., 18.8; Anthony Mazzeo, Massillon Jackson, 6-3, sr., 17.1.

SPECIAL MENTION

Brady Snyder, Canal Winchester; Max Martz, Upper Arlington; Jeremiah Keene, Westerville North; N’Keeley Elmore, Columbus Northland; Bryson Lane, Olentangy Orange; Jordan McMillian, Westerville South; D.J. Dial, Lyndhurst Brush; John Hugley, Lyndhurst Brush; Keaton Williams, Dresden Tri Valley; Ian Sexton, Dover; Jake Maranville, Uniontown Lake; Derrick Anderson, Youngstown Boardman; Julian Jackson, Massillon Perry; Todd Simons, Austintown Fitch; Jayvon Maughmer, Chillicothe; Bash Wieland, Liberty Township Lakota East; Garrett Denbow, Ashland; Devin Williams, Toledo Start.

HONORABLE MENTION

Garvin Clarke, Euclid; Kenny Ganley, Brecksville-Broadview Heights; D.J. Harrell, Cleveland East Tech; Dakota Cochran, Shaker Heights; Mike Bekelja; Damion Williams, Willoughby South; Chad Rogers, Mentor;

Jordan Soyars, Barberton; D.J. Jones, Copley; Evan Bainbridge, Stow-Munroe Falls; Matt Salopek, Akron Hoban; Jarmond Hogg, Akron Ellet; Kobe Johnson, Canton McKinley; Will Hyde, Massillon Jackson; Christian Parker, Canton GlenOak; Brett Martin, Massillon Washington; Dom McGhee, Warren Harding;

Caleb Bell, Logan; Brandon Noel, Chillicothe;

Jacob Drees, Hilliard Davidson;

Ryan Hall, Kettering Fairmont; Ronnie Hampton, Huber Heights Wayne; D'Marco Howard, Hamilton; Max Land, Moeller; Landen Long, Mason; Shaunn Monroe, Fairborn; Mo Njie, Centerville;

Tehree Horn, Sylvania Southview; Isaac Elsasser, Bowling Green; Ryan Nunn, Findlay; Max Denman, Whitehouse Anthony Wayne; DaSean Nelson, Toledo Rogers; Sam Clear, Sylvania Northview.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: University of Cincinnati signee Samari Curtis named Ohio Division I player of the year

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