By JOSH FRYE
Two local high school student-athletes gained 2020-2021 Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) All-State basketball team honors Sunday, March 28.
Escambia County High School junior Sheldon Williams was selected to the ASWA AHSAA (Alabama High School Athletic Association) Class 4A second team.
Escambia Academy junior Landon Sims gained AISA (Alabama Independent School Association) third team accolades.
According to ECHS athletic director Scott Mason, Williams is more than deserving of the honor.
“Sheldon is a great young man,” Mason said. “He comes from a great family and has been a leader on and off the court for the school multiple years. This year he was a dominating force for the team. You could not ask to have a better kid in your program.”
According to Mason, Williams is a quiet young man and humble. Despite leading the Blue Devils in points in almost every game this season, Williams kept a calm and cool attitude and demonstrated true leadership on and off the basketball court.
EA’s Sims gained similar praise from EA head coach Willie White.
“Landon is a great kid and athlete,” White said. “We really depended on him [Sims] this year. He is an experienced shooter and point guard. He made our team better tremendously. He well deserved this honor.”
According to White, Sims was at first reluctant to return to the Cougars basketball court this season. White explained that it took some convincing for Sims to return, but he is more than thankful that he did after much persistence. White also added that while young and still developing within a leadership role, Sims has taken the reins and met every challenge presented to him. White continues to look for Sims to do big things not only in basketball, but football and baseball during his 2021-2022 senior year.
Two county female players were also named to all-state teams. T.R. Miller’s Vanessa Samuel was named to the ASWA, AHSAA Class 3A, girls second team, and Flomaton High School’s Kaylie Davenport gained AHSAA Class 3A girls honorable mention honors.
Nominations came from statewide basketball coaches and are voted on by the ASWA prep committee. Each of the seven AHSAA classifications and the AISA includes a first, second and third team as well as up to four honorable mention selections.
The players of the year in each classification are set to be announced next weekend (April 3-4), followed by the Super 5 and Mr. Basketball picks. The lingering pandemic prevented the ASWA from hosting a Player of the Year banquet this spring.