Player of the Year: Ajose absorbs role as Chiefs’ floor leader
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
March 24, 2013 12:44 AM | 2095 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Solomon Ajose
<Br>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Solomon Ajose
Staff photo by Todd Hull
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CANTON — Solomon Ajose may have had his breakout season last year as a junior, but he solidified his role as a leader as a senior.

Ajose helped Sequoyah reach the postseason in each of his four seasons on the team, but it wasn’t until the final two years that he proved himself to be an impact player.

This season, Ajose averaged 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and 2.6 steals per game. He was named first-team all-Region 7AAAAA and was on the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s all-metro third team. Ajose was also selected to compete in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association’s North/South senior game.

For all of his accomplishments this season, Ajose is the 2012-13 Cherokee Tribune Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Ajose said he never felt much pressure, even after his breakout junior season of a year ago.

“There was some pressure, but it wasn’t a lot because I knew everybody on my team got better,” he said. “I didn’t have to carry the team because we had a bunch of players who could do it.”

Sequoyah posted a 21-8 record and reached the first round of the playoffs before falling to Miller Grove — which went on to win its fifth straight state title. But Ajose said he was disappointed with the way the season ended because we was injured and wasn’t able to help his team. He sprained his ankle in a loss to Creekview in the semifinal round of the Region 7AAAAA tournament.

“I wasn’t 100 percent at all,” Ajose said. “I was hurt through the first round of state, so it was pretty bad for me. I wanted to do more, but I couldn’t. That was the worst part.”

While Ajose said the game against Miller Grove was the toughest of the season, he said the Chiefs often struggled with playing down to their competition and making games a lot more difficult to win than they should have been.

Unlike many of the area’s top basketball players, Ajose isn’t a member of a club team, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a seasonal athlete. He said that he plays basketball almost every day and is continually trying to make himself better.

Ajose practices against other players and puts in solo time as well. When he is practicing alone, he said he will pick a spot on the court that he isn’t making his shots from and practice.

“I work out on my own and go to the gym,” he said. “I’m just, all the time, playing basketball. Sometimes, I play against people. Sometimes, I play by myself. Most of the time, I play with people, though. I just try to shoot in areas where I’m not shooting that great and work on my ball-handling.”

Ajose has plans to play beyond high school. He has offers from Newberry, Young Harris, Francis Marion — three NCAA Division II programs.

Regardless of where he plays next, Ajose wants to be the best player and teammate he can be.

“I’m just, all the time, trying to get better,” he said.
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