Elite 8 Ford Award 2017: Week 8
WEEK 8 GIRL: RAVEN BLACKBEAR, BEGGS JUNIOR GUARD
Don't let the position fool you. Raven has been in the Lady Demons frontcourt all season and doing great. She's nearly averaging a double-double this season with 15 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. It takes a special tenacity to outrebound noticeably bigger players.
"[It's] her drive, her want to," said Beggs High School head girls basketball coach Bunyan Johnson. "Everybody always says you know, rebounding doesn't take a lot of skill. It's just how much do you want to do it. And how big your heart is."
The way Raven sees it, "With me being a guard and a post [player], it is a challenge because I can't do what main post girls can do." "But yeah, I just have to take on that challenge," she shrugged.
Greater success in sports is all about consistency and Raven's performances this season have had that.
"Some players can have ups and downs and off nights," Johnson explained. "Her's are just pretty steady. If she has an off night scoring, you know, her rebounds are through the roof."
"We're a team. [We stay] postive. I just feel like we can get it," said Raven.
WEEK 8 BOY: GRANT WYNN, LINCOLN CHRISTIAN SENIOR FORWARD
Grant's been rewarded for having to adjust to a new coach and new a system this season. Not only has he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game, Wynn leads the Bulldogs in seemingly every statistical category.
"[He also leads in] assists, blocks, and steals," said head coach Chad So he's an absolutely complete player. And it's rare to have someone who basically plays the five position for your team to also lead you in assists."
According to Wynn, "The more that I don't care about my stats or whatever it is in what I do, and I worry about getting the win for the team, I have so much more fun!
"And I don't stress about the stats."
While Grant has been the leader statistically, it's his the improvements he's made off the court that's helped this tight-knit group to the state quarterfinal.
"[Grant is] one of those guys that can break the tension in the locker room with kind of a witty remark or a funny joke," said Wilkerson.
"The relationship we have with the players and the coaches is so much more than the surface level," Wynn explained. "We really care for each other."
Congratulations to Raven Blackbear of Beggs and Grant Wynn of Lincoln Christian for being our eighth and Final Elite 8 Ford Award nominees!