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BOY'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Quincy January, Riverdale

Riverdale senior Quincy January led the Raiders to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Riverdale senior Quincy January led the Raiders to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

On January

Vitals: Was named the Region 4-AAAAA Player of the Year by the region coaches. He averaged 18.9 points and 11.2 rebounds for the Raiders, who finished as region runner-up to eventual state champion Jonesboro. January was the main go-to player for Riverdale, which missed the state playoffs last season.

Why January: His leaping ability and athleticism helped him play bigger than his 6-foot-4 stature. He was a consistent scoring threat for the Raiders, who lost at Westover in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. Without January scoring this season, it probably would have been hard for the team to advance to the playoffs, including grabbing the region’s No. 2 seed. Last season, he was a first team all-region and all-county.

Others considered: Jonesboro freshman James Walker; Drew junior Maleek Taylor.

What was the highlight of your season? “Playing with my teammates one last time was really special for me. We only lost six games, and that was pretty impressive for our team and school. We played in the region championship game against one of our rivals. It was very special in making it to the second round of the state playoffs. Overall, I really enjoyed my last season with my teammates.”

What did you improve on the most this season?: “I really had to be a leader and captain this season for the team. I had to become more mature on the court to help lead the team in the right direction. It was very important that I was patient and didn’t do a lot of hollering at my teammates. I thought I did a pretty good job as the leader, because I knew everyone was looking for that from me.”

What was your biggest challenge? “The biggest challenge was playing in a good region against some good teams. We lost in the region tournament to a good Jonesboro team that won state. We beat them during the regular season, and it went back and fourth. It was a good rivalry against a good team.”

Coach Tony Brinson on January’s season: “He had a great season for us and showed some great leadership on the team. He has some good skills, and we preached all season how he would have to be our leader. He was very vital to our success as a team. I don’t think we would have gone as far without him in the season or playoffs. He really carried us and stepped up big in many situations.”

Brinson on January’s career at Riverdale: “He had a great career at the school, and he probably was one of the better players that will come out of Riverdale. He played two and half seasons on the varsity, and he was a key to our success throughout that time.”

QUICK HITS

Favorite TV show: ESPN SportsCenter

Favorite movie: Inception

Favorite food: Chinese

Favorite place to spend time: In the gym

Most listened to song in iPod: 1st Quarter Lifestyle by Big Sean