Romeo Weems named AP Class B Player of the Year
NEW HAVEN - Who doesn't like good news?
On the day before New Haven makes its first appearance in the Class B state semifinals, the Rockets received some great unexpected news. Sophomore phenom Romeo Weems has been named Class B Player of the Year by The Associated Press and teammate Eric Williams was named second team all-state.
"It just shows his hard work and his growth," New Haven coach Tedaro France II said of Weems. "It shows how much he cares. That's a kid that's ranked in the whole nation but he comes in before school at 5 a.m. and stays after practice. He does all of the things to become a great player. He's always a great leader. He is so unselfish. It's tough to stop him."
That might be an understatement. The 6-foot-6 forward is averaging 18 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.9 steals, 3.6 assists and 2.8 blocked shots for New Haven (24-1).
"He does so many things," France II said. "He can pass and block shots. When you have a kid that plays and doesn't care about stats and just gives 110 percent, it feels good to see him rewarded. The same with Eric (Williams). He is right there with Romeo working before school. These awards show their hard work and IQ for the game. It's good to see kids get better and get rewarded."
Weems said it was surreal to win such a big honor, but his teammates were responsible for his success.
"I really didn't know what to think about it," Weems said. "I was happy. But I don't think it would have happened without my teammates. It's more of a team accomplishment."
The Rockets will face Benton Harbor (22-3) at 6 p.m. Friday in the Class B state semifinals, on the campus of Michigan State University. New Haven only needs one more victory to advance to Saturday's state finals (6:30 p.m.).
"Practice went well," Williams said moments after finishing Thursday's practice. "We went over what they do. We have to execute our game. In the last game, we didn't have a good game. We will be more tuned in. It will be a fun game. Our whole community has been supporting us. We just need to execute what we have practiced."
If the Rockets are at their best, they will have a great chance in prolonging the best run in school history.
"I'm expecting us to do our job," France II said. "I always tell them don't do more or less because it's a big stage. Just do your job and do what we have been doing all year. If we play the best we can, we will do fine. When a kid does too much or doesn't do their job is when we have ran into problems."