Andy Zavoina | Herald
Shoemaker basketball player Javon Levi, second from left, receives the Freddy’s-KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week award Saturday from assistant general manager Christopher Miles on Saturday at Freddy’s Steakburgers’ Killeen location. Joining Levi for the presentation are Shoemaker coach Emund Prichett, right, and his sons, Emund Prichett II, back, and Lamundre.
Three times in a row.
Not only did Javon Levi join teammates J’wan Roberts and Devyn Brewton for the Shoemaker boys basketball team’s third straight Freddy’s-KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week accolade this week, but he joined the two as the only athletes to earn the honor twice this school year.
Like Roberts and Brewton before him, Levi, a Texas Rio Grande Valley signee, felt the recognition the Grey Wolves have earned individually was a testament to the team as a whole.
“It definitely reflects,” the senior said. “It shows our balance and how on any given night, somebody can step up and play well — whether it’s a young guy like J’wan or one of the older guys like Devyn and I.”
Shoemaker head coach Emund Prichett agreed with Levi’s sentiment.
“I say it reflects on our leadership,” Prichett said. “Our seniors have really, really brought this team together. We have other guys that I think could have been up for the award, and these guys who have been winning it have been kind of overshadowing those guys, but they understand their role is still important.
“They show up to practice every day and aren’t worried about individual accolades.”
The success of the team also directly reflects on Levi, who is a four-year letterman and veteran point guard. Levi has earned all-district honors each year — an honorable mention as a freshman, a second-teamer as a sophomore and offensive MVP as a junior — and he will assuredly add another all-league decoration when this season concludes.
Last year, the 5-foot-10-inch Levi was also named First Team All-Region II-6A and First Team All-State by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
While the individual distinctions are nice, Levi is most proud of being a true facilitator for the Grey Wolves.
“I definitely feel it is my responsibility to keep everyone involved in the game,” Levi said. “If I get them touches, then they’re going to give more offensively and defensively. Plus, there are two key parts to our team, especially offensively.
“J’wan can score, rebound and block shots. But really, when he starts going offensively, that’s when his defense comes in.
“Devyn, when he gets his shot going, there’s not many that can stop him.”
Shoemaker has now won three consecutive district titles and two outright. The Grey Wolves were also in the hunt for the league crown in 2013-14, but just missed it.
Not coincidentally, their program began to boom when Levi took the floor for the varsity club.
“As a freshman, we had lost two district games and moved him up,” Prichett said. “We then won 11 straight. We lost the last game of the year for a share of the district title, and he’s been a part of this whole ride.
“It’s fitting that he wins player of the week to finish off the regular season, and hopefully he plays big in the playoffs for us and we make a long run.”
Shoemaker will face off with South Grand Prairie on Tuesday at Waco University at 7 p.m. in the bi-district round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Levi won the award after a week that saw him rack up 25 points against Harker Heights and add 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals and four assists against San Angelo Central.
Others nominated were Salado senior Annie Ewton, Killeen senior Jacen Moore and Shoemaker junior Charlene Shepherd.
Ewton scored five goals during the week to help the Lady Eagles improve to 5-0 in District 25-4A.
Moore registered 11 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Copperas Cove, helping the Lady Kangaroos earn a tie atop the District 8-6A standings.
Shepherd scored 21 points in a 45-43 win for the Lady Grey Wolves over Belton, which allowed them to reach the postseason as the 8-6A fourth seed. Shepherd also tallied 12 points, five rebounds and four assists in a win over Harker Heights that knotted Shoemaker with Belton and forced the play-in game between the two.