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High Schools

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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Northrop senior Bryson Scott is in the running to become the fifth from Fort Wayne to win the Mr. Basketball award.

Mr. Basketball talk tested Bruins’ star

– Whether Bryson Scott wins the 2013 Mr. Basketball award, the Northrop senior certainly played this season like a candidate for the state’s top boys basketball prize – including all the pressure that goes with it.

“I caught myself thinking about it a lot at the beginning of the season,” Scott said last week. “My coach (Barak Coolman) felt like I could win it, so he put the pressure on me to play like a Mr. Basketball. That kind of hurt me at the beginning of the season when I was struggling a little bit. When I just started playing basketball, I felt like I played better.

“I get a lot of tweets on it, and a lot of people just come up to me and say there’s a whole bunch of random stuff talking about Mr. Basketball from people I don’t know.

“That kind of threw me off a little bit, but I tried not to think about it because it may never happen. I just tried to go out there and play hard.”

The award, presented by the sponsoring Indianapolis Star, is expected to be announced in the next couple of days. Fort Wayne has had four Mr. Basketball winners, with the last being former Bishop Luers standout Deshaun Thomas in 2010.

“One of the few individual goals that he had was to be Mr. Basketball,” Coolman said.

“It goes along with his personality because anything he does, he wants to be the best at. It has been a goal of his for a long time. It will be interesting to see how it turns out, but we are hoping for the best.

“There were some games that he definitely put too much pressure on himself and maybe forced the issue at times. But that’s his personality because he is going to compete hard regardless. It wasn’t a night-and-day difference during the games where there were Mr. Basketball expectations but he knew the evaluation of him by the coaches and the media, especially in new areas (of the state) where he had never been seen before or wasn’t as familiar to some and that sometimes played an effect on his mind.”

Scott is among the top Mr. Basketball candidates, along with fellow seniors Zak Irvin from Hamilton Southeastern, Demetrius Jackson from Mishawaka Marian and Collin Hartman from Indianapolis Cathedral.

“It would mean the world to me to win,” Scott said of the honor. “It is such a prestigious award. All the people who won it in the past were all phenomenal players. It is going to be a close race, I think.”

A Purdue recruit, Scott led the Bruins to a sectional title, an SAC tournament championship and a 19-8 record last season.

He averaged 23.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals. Scott finished the No. 1 scorer in school history and No. 2 in Fort Wayne with 2,042 career points.

Scott is a dark horse for the award. Jackson (Notre Dame) was named a McDonald’s All-American, Irvin (Michigan) was a former teammate of 2012 Mr. Basketball Gary Harris, and Hartman (Indiana) led his team to the Class 4A state championship game.

gjones@jg.net

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