Local players bring national attentionPublished 6:36pm Thursday, April 7, 2011
Butler High School’s Trevor Lacey and Bob Jones High School’s Levi Randolph are going to need bigger trophy cases.
The two standout seniors have accumulated many awards over the last two years, but they both recently added a few more pieces of hardware to the case.
On Tuesday, Randolph was presented with his Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year award, while Lacey was named the state’s Mr. Basketball for the second year in a row.
Randolph, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound senior guard, averaged 19.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game this past season, leading the Patriots (26-10) to the Class 6A regional finals. Randolph was named the Class 6A Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 71.0 percent from the free-throw line.
He produced 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists per contest as a junior, leading Bob Jones High to the 2010 Class 6A state championship and capturing state tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Lacey becomes the first player to win the Mr. Basketball honor back-to-back after leading Butler to the Class 4A championship this season.
Lacey, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged nearly 32 points a game, and was also named a Parade All-American.
Lacey also helped the Rebels to Class 5A titles in 2008 and 2009, and was named a Class 5A first-team selection three straight years and 5A╒s Player of the Year in 2010 before earning 4A Player of the Year and first team honors this season.
While Randolph has committed to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide next season, Lacey is still uncommitted and is set to make his decision within the next few weeks.
It is believed Lacey has narrowed his choices to Alabama, Auburn and Kentucky, and any of the three programs would be a great fit for him.
If Lacey chooses Kentucky, he’ll be joining one of the most elite collegiate basketball programs in the country, which is coming off a Final 4 appearance, and is coached by one of the best minds in the game: John Calipari.
If Lacey chooses Auburn, he’ll join one of Calipari’s protégés, Tony Barbee, in hopes of quickly turning the Tigers back into a postseason team. The Tigers have a new $90 facility, and Lacey would certainly have the spotlight directly on him if he chooses to go to The Plains.
If Lacey chooses Alabama, he’ll join Randolph and head coach Anthony Grant’s Tide, which is just coming off an appearance in the NIT finals. The Tide looks to be one of the strongest teams in the SEC in 2011-12, which means Lacey could either be playing for championships or vying for playing time when he joins the team next season, as the Tide is stacked with veteran talent and strong recruiting classes.
While it would be great to see Lacey in Kentucky blue or burnt orange, wouldn’t it be something to see two of the greatest high school basketball players this area has seen in long time playing on the same court and on the same team?
That match-up nearly happened during the regular season at UAHuntsville, but Randolph was forced to sit after refusing to change his “neon blue” shoes.
Lacey and Butler narrowly emerged victorious that day, but the game did not live up to the hype.
After Lacey makes his decision in a few weeks, the hype will once again begin to build, as we’ll find out whether he’ll be facing off against Randolph for conference titles or playing together for that same title.