Senior Devin Royal of Pickerington Central High School was named 2023 Ohio Mr. Basketball on Wednesday by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. Royal, who led Pickerington Central to a state championship last year as a junior, has the Tigers back in the state tournament this weekend. In the Mr. Basketball voting, Royal edged out Centerville senior Gabe Cupps, who won the Mr. Basketball award last year.
Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy sophomore Darryn Peterson was third in the voting, followed by senior Dailyn Swain of Columbus Africentric, sophomore Jerry Easter II of Toledo Emmanuel Christian, senior Bede Lori of Caldwell and junior Luke Skaljac of Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
In the statewide voting process conducted by members of the OPSWA, three points were awarded for first place, two for second and one for third. Royal had 90 votes compared to 87 for Cupps.
Royal is averaging 19.6 points and 7.6 rebounds and shooting 64.9% from the field for the Tigers (23-5), who play Centerville (25-3) in a Division I state semifinal at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at University of Dayton Arena.
Now in its 36th year, the prestigious Mr. Basketball award was first given by the Associated Press in 1988. It has been voted on by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association since 2017.