St. Andrew’s Anthony Polite: Small-schools basketball player of year


Anthony Polite closed his high school basketball career with a flourish this season.

The senior combo guard averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists a game, and helped lead the Scots to a district championship.

St. Andrew’s finished 25-3.

“He’s got tremendous ability,” longtime Scots coach John O’Connell said.

Polite, who signed with FSU in November, began playing varsity basketball at St. Andrew’s as a freshman.

His game has grown steadily through the years, and this past season he earned Small Schools Player of the Year recognition after averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and three steals. The Scots finished 26-2 and advanced to the regional finals.

“I’ve grown mentally and physically,” said Polite, who drew numerous offers from Power 5 schools before choosing Florida State in August. Polite’s dad, Michael, played for the Seminoles from 1987-91. “I’ve adjusted to our game.”

A tall guard who can shoot, handle the ball well and drive to the basket, the 6-foot-6 Polite has begun preparing for his college basketball career, both on and off the court.

“I want to focus on getting better,” he said. “I’m always watching college basketball. I can see how strong and how fast the game is. Every single piece of game that I can improve, I’ll be doing next year.”

O’Connell expects a smooth transition from high school to college basketball for Polite, who will spend the summer traveling and training.

“He’s physically and mentally prepared for the next level,” O’Connell said. “He’s so athletic and strong already. He’s going to make an immediate impact in college basketball.”

Polite’s impact at St. Andrew’s was just as quick.

O’Connell, who has coached at the school for 32 years and picked up his 600th career win there in January, said Polite’s ability and leadership — which became more vocal through the years — helped carry the Scots to multiple district championships, and also grew the team’s fan base.

During Polite’s junior and senior seasons, St. Andrew’s went 51-5 and packed the school’s gymnasium.

“He’s had such an impact on the program and his teammates,” O’Connell said. “People love to support St. Andrew’s basketball. Over the last two years, we’ve had our best crowds ever, and a lot of that was because of Anthony.”

First Team

Dylan Bradley, FAU, Sr., Guard: He led the Owls in scoring at 19.6 points per game. Also averaged 3.4 rebounds and hit 48 percent of his 3-point attempts.

A.J. Cajuste, Oxbridge Academy, So., Guard: Two-year starter averaged 16.5 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds for district-champion ThunderWolves.

K.J. Fitzgerald, Cardinal Newman, Sr., Guard: Four-year starter closed a standout career by averaging 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Ethan Lasko, Yeshiva High School, Sr., Guard: One of the area’s top scorers, he averaged 24.8 points. 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals.

Ben Lubarsky, Benjamin, So., Forward: He averaged a team-leading 22 points and eight rebounds for the district runner-up Bucs.

Matthew Schner, Grandview Prep, Sr., Guard: The lone returning starter for the district champion-Pride, he averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

David Smith, Village Academy, Sr., Guard: He averaged 15.6 points and and 5.3 rebounds to lead the Tigers to the regional finals.

Keidron Smith, Oxbridge Academy, Jr., Guard: Two-sport athlete led the ThunderWolves in scoring at 18.5 points per game. Also averaged 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Second Team

Scottie Barnes, Cardinal Newman, Fr., Forward

Kyle Feit, Atlantic Christian Academy, Sr., Guard

Romeire Jaye Morgan, Berean Christian, Sr., Guard

Roy Jones III, Grandview Prep, Jr., Guard

Josue Passius, Village Academy, Sr., Guard

Marcus Pelissier, St. Andrew’s, Jr., Guard

Michael Walsh, Boca Raton Christian, Sr., Guard

Dante Wilcox, Oxbridge Academy, So., Forward

Honorable Mention

Atlantic Christian Academy: Ricardo Time, Justin Nicholson; Benjamin: Jordan Travis, Will Randolph; Berean Christian: Lance Hatten, Caleb Nelson, Hunter Axtell; Boca Raton Christian: Alex Gaudette, Jordan Nitto; Donna Klein Jewish Academy: Jake Cohen, Matthew Levine, Michael Sherman; FAU: Remy Brown, Makai Roberts; Grandview Prep: Marcus Bentley, Jamal Ellick, Chance Donovan; Inlet Grove: Dante Moses, Javaris Chevelon, Loic St. Croix; Jupiter Christian: Isaac Sellars; Oxbridge Academy: Ronique Spencer; Saint John Paul II Academy: Nick Fischer, Koby Opoku, P.J. Cimo; St. Andrew’s: Jammy Pierre-Louis, Ryan McAdoo, Ivan Chmyrenko; Trinity Christian Academy: Aytor Alberto, Lernix Williams; Village Academy: Keion Edwards, Austin Adderly, Widgens Eugene.

Coach of the Year

Terrence Atkinson, Village Academy: In his second season, he led the Tigers to a district championship and a berth in the Class 3A regional finals. Village Academy finished 22-7.



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