Ben Greller | Staff Writer
On Sunday, May 5, Trayce Jackson-Davis became the first player from Center Grove to win Mr. Basketball. The Mr. Basketball award is given to the most outstanding basketball player competing for an IHSAA school. Jackson-Davis finished with 179 out of 302 votes, with the votes coming from high school coaches and media members.
Jackson-Davis is just the third player from Johnson County and the first in 78 years to win the award. Prior winners were George Crowe of Franklin in 1939 and John Bass of Greenwood in 1941. Jackson-Davis joins a group with high-end names such as Glenn Robinson, Rick Mount and Eric Gordon.
“Just being on the same level as guys like Greg Oden, Kris Wilkes, and Kyle Guy is honestly a blessing,” Jackson-Davis said.
Jackson-Davis will also become the 28th player who has won Mr. Basketball to go on to play for Indiana University, joining the ranks of recent winners Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Erica Gordon and Jared Jeffries.
“It’s a blessing joining such an elite group of players like Steve Alford, Damon Bailey and Romeo Langford is really amazing,” Jackson-Davis said.
At the beginning of his freshman year, winning the title seemed more of a far-off thought than a goal.
“It was a goal that Coach Hahn and I talked about, but it was mostly just a thought,” Jackson-Davis said. “It didn’t truly become a reality until my junior season. Coming in as a freshman, I did a lot of back to the basket post work, but I have grown into a very versatile forward with a lot of potential and upside.”
Head Coach Zach Hahn has seen Jackson-Davis’s development into the best player in the state first hand.
“The improvements he made physically and skill wise over the last four years is a testament to his hard work and what we do in our program,” Hahn said.
Jackson-Davis also credits the people surrounding him.
“I think that my parents and siblings were a huge reason why I succeeded,” Jackson-Davis said. “Also my teammates and my coaches really helped me along the way.”
Jackson-Davis will leave Center Grove as the program’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks. As well as winning the Mr. Basketball title, Jackson-Davis was selected as a McDonald’s All-American, selected as a Jordan Brand All-American, voted the MIC’s most valuable player twice, recognized as a USA U-18 team member, and earned multiple All-County awards.