State champs earn postseason honors

Continuing the county’s excellence in basketball, New Albany’s John Stroud and Jazmine Spears were honored last week by the Clarion Ledger after the Lady Bulldogs’ championship run.
Stroud, named the state’s Coach of the Year, became only the second coach to receive the honor for both boys’ and girls’, joining Ingomar’s Norris Ashley.
“It’s a big honor to win it once, much less for both boys’ and girls’,” Stroud said. “I’m proud of it, but I had  a great group of girls that listened to me, and this is really an award that was three years in the making, as we won 88 games over that time.”
Spears was honored earlier in the year as one of the Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen and added to that, as she was a first team All-State selection, joining Lawrence County’s Tiaria Griffin, Southeast Lauderdale’s Pashen Thompson, Scott Central’s Victoria Vivians and Lake’s Krista Donald, who was also named Miss Basketball 2011.
“It’s one thing to be named All-State, but as a sophomore, that makes it even more special,” Stroud said of Spears. “It’s great to be regarded as one of the top five players in the state, and hopefully she will continue to build on this for our program in the next two years.
Spears and teammate Micha Washington were named to the 4A All-Tournament team after the state championship. The duo were also named All-Division along with Kebrina Lucas and Spears was named the Region 1-4A Player of the Year.