River Ridge’s Jordan Livesay, Cherokee’s Aunesha Williams and Sequoyah’s Solomon Ajose were recognized by the Georgia Sports Writers Association on Tuesday for their standout seasons.
Livesay, a senior, was named to the Class AAAA first team, becoming the first River Ridge player to earn first-team recognition.
A Class AA honorable mention last season, Livesay said she was excited when she heard the news.
“I know there are a lot great players in Class AAAA, so I felt really proud to be able to be among them,” she said. “I was definitely proud to be a part of it.”
To River Ridge coach Jason Taylor, the all-state honor was more than deserved.
“Jordan is deserving of any honor she receives,” Taylor said. “She’s a good basketball player. Whether she was in our program, or another school like Sequoyah, she’s just a hard worker.”
Livesay was on the first team with Columbia’s Miah Spencer, South Effingham’s Tianna Germain, Mary Persons’ KeKe Calloway and Cross Creek’s Ashleigh Outler. Livesay encountered Spencer in a quarterfinal-round game of the Class AAAA state playoffs, which Columbia won on the way to a state title.
Livesay averaged 18.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.1 assists per game as she helped the Lady Knights reach the quarterfinals. The team finished the season with a 22-9 record.
Livesay maintains that she couldn’t have done any of it without her team.
“My teammates and coaches put me in the position where I was able to do what I did,” she said.
A four-year starter, Livesay was a big part of the River Ridge program as it developed from a fledgling program into a Region 7AAAA power.
“We developed a chemistry that other players don’t have,” said the North Georgia signee. “We never lost players as we grew up. We were always the same ones, and we grew as a team together. It definitely helped me develop.”
Williams, the Cherokee Tribune Girls Basketball Player of the Year, was a Class AAAAAA honorable mention.
The junior averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.5 assists per game and led Cherokee to a 29-2 record and an appearance in the state quarterfinals.
Williams said it meant a lot to be recognized as a junior.
“It’s just a good feeling to get all these honors,” she said. “My athletic trainer called me to the front office to tell me about it. I was excited. All the trainers and coaches were in there to tell me.”
While Williams is already receiving plenty of interest from college, she said she will continue to work on her speed and footwork so the Lady Warriors can go even further next year.
Ajose, the Cherokee Tribune Boys Basketball Player of the Year, was a Class AAAAA honorable mention.
He averaged 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and 2.6 steals per game. The Chiefs finished the season 21-8, but were ousted in the opening round of the state playoffs by Miller Grove, which went on to win the state championship.
Tift County’s Brannen Greene was named Mr. Basketball — as the state’s all-classification player of the year — while Norcross’s Diamond DeShields was named Miss Basketball.