Champs rule All-State hoops roster

Postseason honors continue to roll in for several Gwinnett County high school basketball players and coaches this week.

The latest came with the release of Georgia Sports Writers Association's All-State Team late Wednesday night, and included many from among what has now become the usual group of suspects -- players and coaches from the county's five state championship teams.

Leading the way are two girls players named as their respective classification's Player of the Year -- Norcross' Diamond DeShields in Class AAAAA and Buford's Andraya Carter in AA -- and all five championship coaches -- GAC's Eddie Martin and Wesleyan's Skip Matherly for the boys and Wesleyan's Jan Azar, Buford's Gene Durden and Norcross' Angie Hembree for the girls.

Also joining the party was Central Gwinnett's David Allen, who was named as the Class AAAAA Boys Coach of the Year.

The GSWA honor was the latest in a huge week for DeShields, who was invited along with Blue Devils teammate and fellow freshman Kaela Davis to try out for USA Basketball's Under-17 National Team this summer and was named to Parade Magazine's fourth-team All-America team.

"It's just an honor," said the 6-foot-2 freshman, who was also a first-team All-County selection by the Daily Post after averaging 17.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. "It only raises my standards. I have three more years of high school, and there's a whole lot more room for improvement. ... And I couldn't have done it without my teammates."

This has also been a busy week for Hembree, who is currently in San Antonio coaching in a national senior all-star game after being named the Southeast Regional Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association earlier this week.

Carter, who recently gave a verbal commitment to Tennessee as a sophomore, was the choice for Player of the Year in Class AA after averaging 17.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 5.2 steals per game in leading Buford to its second straight state title.

Among the county coaches honored by the GSWA, Allen was surprised when informed of the news considering he was one of only two among the 10 overall honorees -- along with Class AAAA Girls Coach of the Year Steven Cole of Forest Park -- whose team did not win its classification's state title.

However, the GSWA voters gave him the nod after the Black Knights' 29-3 record and first Final Four appearance since 2002, which took many around the state by surprise, but not Allen or his players.

"It's a big honor, but those kids deserve all the credit," Allen said. "If you ask the kids, they'll probably tell you they deserved to be (in the Final Four) and that was their goal all along. From a realistic point of view, I'm sure we achieved more than a lot of people thought we could."

In addition to DeShields and Carter, nine other county girls players and 10 boys players were also part of the GSWA's All-State team.

Joining Carter and DeShields as first-team selections among the girls were Parkview's Lauren Coleman in Class AAAAA, Chaney Means of Greater Atlanta Christian in AA and Erin Hall of Wesleyan in A.

Davis, Norcross teammate Briana Jordan, Katie Mallow of Brookwood and Moneshia Simmons were honorable mention selections in AAAAA, while GAC's Kristina Nelson and Wesleyan's Holli Wilkins earned honorable mention status in AA and A respectively.

On the boys side, GAC's Malcolm Brogdon and Trent Wiedeman headed up the AA boys first-team, while Wesleyan's Griffin Schamp was named to the Class A first team.

Jeremy Lamb of Norcross was a second-team selection in Class AAAAA, while C.J. Blackwell of Peachtree Ridge, Javonte Maynor of South Gwinnett, Saah Nimley of Collins Hill, Brian Williams of Central were honorable mention selections in AAAAA and Wesleyan's Wes Caver and Andrew Frerking made the honorable mention list in A.