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SBLive's 2022-23 boys basketball postseason awards: Duncanville's Ron Holland is National Player of the Year

Link Academy (Missouri) first-year coach Bill Armstrong is National Coach of the Year, Ben Davis (Indiana) is National Team of the Year.

Throughout the 2022-23 high school boys basketball season, many players stood out, spanning all states and school sizes. 

All season long, SBLive provided in-depth coverage of high school basketball seasons across the country and ranked the top 25 teams nationally with the SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25.

Link Academy (Missouri) was crowned national champion in Monday's final rankings after a 27-1 season that ended in a GEICO Nationals championship.

Now that state and national champions have been crowned, we're taking a look back at the players who stood tall above the crowd. 

Here are SBLive's national postseason boys basketball awards, recognizing the best of high school basketball's best in 2022-23. The awards will be followed SBLive All-American Teams, which publish Thursday afternoon. 


National Player of the Year

Ron Holland, Duncanville (Texas)

Ron Holland rises above a defender during the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon in December.

Ron Holland rises above a defender during the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon in December.

All year, Holland was, simply put, spectacular. As Duncanville dealt with sanctions — a stripped state title and its head coach being suspended for the season — Holland was the team's steadying force. The versatile 6-foot-8 forward averaged 20.3 points, 10.1 boards, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals for the No. 1 public school team in the country and helped the Panthers amass a 29-1 record and No. 3 national ranking in the SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25. A Texas commit, Holland's stellar play continued into the postseason, where he shined among his peers atop the 2023 class in the McDonald's All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit, where he led Team USA to a win with 15 points, nine boards, six steals and five assists.

Defensive Player of the Year

John Bol, Sunrise Christian (Kansas)

Sunrise Christian 2024 center John Bol

A tower the center of Sunrise Christian Academy's defense, Bol changed the way teams attacked the Kansas-based national prep power. Analysts love the 7-foot-1 junior, a five-star prospect being sought after by the likes of Michigan, Missouri and Butler, for his elite shot-blocking, ability to run the floor and raw athleticism in his long frame. After starring at Christian Brothers (St. Louis, Missouri), Bol transferred Sunrise Christian Academy and averaged 5.1 boards and 2.6 blocks per game in the nation's toughest league, the NIBC. The conference's defensive player of the year, Bol helped the Buffaloes reach the GEICO Nationals semifinals with a quarterfinal upset of top-ranked Montverde Academy — a game in which Bol was 3 of 3 from the field with six boards and two blocks.

Coach of the Year

Bill Armstrong, Link Academy (Missouri)

2023 GEICO Nationals Boys Final Link Academy vs AZ Compass Prep April 1, 2023 Photo-Matt Christopher61

When Bill Armstrong was announced as the successor to Link Academy's inaugural coach Rodney Perry late last July, he had just one returning player in Tennessee commit Cameron Carr. With his 21 years of college coaching experience, he helped re-tool the second-year national prep school's roster, bringing in high-major Division I talent like five-star guard Ja'Kobe Walter and UNC-bound point guard Elliot Cadeau. His real challenge? Deploying a system that played to his talent-laden group's strengths — and melding them into a cohesive unit. The Lions found winning contributions up and down its roster on its way to a 27-1 record, which concluded in early April with a GEICO Nationals win and an SBLive/Sports Illustrated national championship.

Team of the Year

Ben Davis (Indiana)

Ben Davis-Cathedral Indiana boys basketball March 11 2023 Tyler Hart 18552

Ben Davis went from flying off the radar nationally heading into the season to finishing the year as a top 15 team in the country. The Giants (33-0) capped off a perfect season with a win over five-star center Flory Bidunga in the IHSAA Class 4A state championship game. With National Coach of the Year candidate Don Carlisle at the helm and All-American honorable mention Zane Doughty at center, Ben Davis staked its claim as one of the best teams in the the history of a state known for its elite high school basketball.

Sixth Man of the Year

Trent Pierce, AZ Compass Prep (Arizona)

2023 GEICO Nationals Semifinal AZ Compass vs Montverde Academy March 31, 2023 Photo-Matt Christopher38

After posting 16 points and 11 rebounds per game for Union (Oklahoma) as a junior, Pierce sacrificed some playing time and personal success when he joined AZ Compass Prep for his senior year. The 6-foot-10 Missouri signee wasn’t always the first man off the bench for a loaded squad which finished in the top 10 nationally, but when he was called on he consistently sparked runs with his three-point shooting and defense. Pierce posted a season-high 25 points to lead AZ Compass Prep to a win over Legacy Early College in January, and he scored 12 points off the bench to help AZ Compass Prep defeat IMG Academy (Florida) in the GEICO Nationals semifinals.

Newcomer of the Year

VJ Edgecombe, Long Island Lutheran (New York)

Dec 10, 2022; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Wasatch Academy guard Isiah Harwell (left) dives for a loose ball against Long Island Lutheran guard VJ Edgecombe during the HoopHall West basketball tournament at Chaparral High School. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Edgecombe (right) protects the ball from Wasatch Academy's Isiah Harwell during a game in December 2022.

Maybe no other player made more out of a jump into a bigger spotlight than Edgecombe. Long Island Lutheran (New York) was the two 2021-22 additions to the NIBC, and 6-foot-5 guard led the whole conference in scoring with 17.3 points per game to go with his 2.5 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks per game, and did it against many of the names on this list. He shot 45 percent from the field on more than six shot attempts per game, won New York's Gatorade Player of the Year award and led LuHi to its first GEICO Nationals berth.

Freshman of the Year

Jason Crowe Jr., Lynwood (California)

Jason Crowe Jr left Lynwood Freshman of the Year

What Jason Crowe Jr. did in southern California would be impressive for anyone. But as a freshman? Crowe Jr. averaged 36 points and 5.4 assists, which was the third most points scored in a single season in California state history. He had a 51-point game. And he led Lynwood to a CIF Division 5 state championship behind a 36-point effort in the finals. Those numbers aren't fool's gold, as he has found ways to stand out in showcases and against the best in his class. The 6-foot-3 guard is the son of Jason Crowe, a standout at Inglewood in the 90s who played 13 years professionally overseas. 

Jersey Mike's Sub of the Year

jersey mike's sub of the year girls boys basketball high school

Max Schmeltzer, Pleasant Valley (Iowa)

Schmeltzer won the Jersey Mike's "Sub of the Year" contest, as voted on by fans and readers, in recognition as the nation's top bench player. As a sophomore for Pleasant Valley (Iowa), he helped lead his team to a runner-up finish at state in 5A (upsetting undefeated CR Kennedy) and played in 23 games. Despite making no starts he scored 161 points and grabbed 96 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent on his field-goal attempts.

READ: SBLive's Postseason Boys Basketball Awards