Boys' All-Area Player of the Year: Princeton's Ben Jacobs
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 20, 2011 1:51 AM
Though his senior season did not end the way he had hoped, Ben Jacobs still walked away from his final year at Princeton High School with a lot of positives.
The talented forward had several shining moments in a Bulldawg uniform, made a lot of new friends and fine-tuned his game in front of the watchful eye of college coaches. For all of those reasons, Jacobs was unanimously voted the 2010-2011 News-Argus All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.
"We had a great season and we made history," Jacobs said. "We had a 20-game winning streak, won the first conference championship in 28 years and were ranked number one in the state. Overall it was a pretty good year."
The one goal that Jacobs did not get to accomplish was his dream of winning a state championship. The Dawgs were bounced from the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs in the first round by James Kenan.
Since that disappointing night in Warsaw, Jacobs has turned his focus to his college career. He'll head to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in the fall to continue his education. Jacobs also had offers from Wingate and Mount Olive, multiple Division I programs and even had the U.S. Naval Academy on his radar.
"It was a hard decision, but it was one that I had to make," Jacobs said. "It was hard to tell Mount Olive that I was going somewhere else because Mount Olive had been to so many of my games, and they had really done a great job of making me feel like they wanted me."
During the season it seemed like everyone wanted a piece of Jacobs.
The ovation after his name was called during pre-game introductions was deafening, college scouts and coaches packed the stands. Opposing players and coaches were often caught gushing over Jacobs' ability.
"The thing about Ben is that he made every player on our team better," Princeton head coach Jeff Davis said. "His work ethic and his ability to play within himself in our offense really made the rest of the team work to be at that same level."
Princeton opened the season with an offensive outburst that few schools in eastern North Carolina have ever seen. The Dawgs rolled to a 20-0 record to open play, and in 18 of those 20 wins the team carried a 30-point lead at some point in the contest.
During that 20-game run, Jacobs averaged 27 points and 17 rebounds per game. He was the team's leading scorer in every game except one.
"Any time you have a guy putting up the kind of numbers that Ben put up this season, he is going to attract a lot of attention," said Davis. "I think he handled it unbelievably well for a young guy and he learned a lot of things that he can take with him to the next level."
Jacobs, an honor student throughout high school, is undecided about his educational path going forward. He is interested in a degree in exercise science.
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