We caught wind of this nearly a week ago but now it is official: Gary Bell Jr. has been selected as the state of Washington's Mr. Basketball. The highest individual honor a player can receive, the Mr. Basketball award honors the top player in the state regardless of classification.
Gary has guided Kentridge to a 16-8 record this season (13-3 in the conference). Bell has averaged just shy of 28 points a game this season and has had some phenomenal individual efforts. He's scored 30+ points in eight games this season and he's never really been shut down as his lowest scoring output was 16 points in a Kentridge blowout win. One of his most impressive showings had to be when Kentridge traveled down to California for the Orange Holiday Classic and took on Mater Dei. Mater Dei is one of the few perennial national powerhouses in prep hoops and this year is no different as they are currently 26-2 and ranked #17 in the nation by MaxPreps. Kentridge was the heavy underdog in this one and wound up losing by ten points but Gary exploded for 33 points.
Later today, the season is on the line for Kentridge as they will take on Bellarmine Prep for a berth in the state tournament. The Chargers were one of the top teams throughout the season but have struggled lately, having lost four of their last five before defeating Bethel last night, 69-53. That game tips off at 4:15 PST in case anyone on the west side wants to check out GBJ for a bit before the Zags start at 5 PM.
For more reading on Gary, check out Ben Pearson's first hand report and continue checking the site for more updates on Kentridge as tonight is a win or go home game for the Chargers.
Congrats to Gary on this very prestigious award and I doubt it is the last award a member of the 2011 class will receive!