Bolden, DeShields, Davis among locals honored by GSWA

Postseason honors continue to pour in for a handful of Gwinnett County boys and girls high school basketball players with today's release of the Georgia Sports Writers Association's all-state teams.

Among the most prominent local players honors are the Daily Post's county boys and girls Players of the Year, North Gwinnett's Chris Bolden and Norcross' Diamond DeShields, along with Buford's Kaela Davis, who were each named state Player of the Year for their respective genders and classification.

Wesleyan head coach Jan Azar, who guided the Wolves to their fifth straight state championship with their Class A title this spring, was the only area coach honored by being named Class A Coach of the Year.

Bolden, who averaged 19.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game, outpolled several big-time players who joined him on Class AAAAA's Boys first team, including fellow Georgia Tech signee Robert Carter of Shiloh, plus two members of Milton's state title team.

"It's kind of surprising," Bolden said. "I played with (or against) pretty much all of those guys (in the high school or AAU seasons). Any one of us could've gotten (AAAAA Player of the Year). So, to be the guy who gets it is pretty exciting."

While Bolden was surprised at the Player of the Year honor, his coach at North, Zach Smith, was not.

"It's a great accomplishment," Smith said. "Chris has received a lot of accolades this year, and he's very deserving of all of them. We had four seniors who are going on to play college basketball, but we also started two freshmen. He put the team on his back at times (down the stretch). North Gwinnett hadn't been to the Elite Eight (in several years) and the last time we'd won 21 games was in 2004. So, he helped put North Gwinnett back on the basketball map."

Neither DeShields -- the Class AAAAA Girls Player of the Year after averaging 21.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game -- nor Davis -- the Class AA Girls Player of the Year after averaging 18.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game -- could be reached for comment.

All three players had plenty of local company in being honored by the GSWA.

While Carter was the only other Gwinnett player joining Bolden on the Class AAAAA boys team, Buford's T.J. Shipes (Class AA first team), GAC's Delano Spencer (Class AA second team) and Wesleyan's Shane Smith (Class A second team) also earned all-state accolades.

Among the girls, North's Lexie Brown (Class AAAAA first team), Norcross' Shayla Cooper (Class AAAAA second team), GAC's Brianna Cummings (Class AA second team), Buford's Andraya Carter and Kristina Nelson (both Class AA honorable mention) and Wesleyan's Holli Wilkins (Class A first team), Katie Frerking (Class A second team) and Jordan Frazier (Class A honorable mention) were recognized by the state's sports writers.