Here are the candidates for the WaFd Bank Arizona High School Boys Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 6-12 as nominated by coaches, fans and readers.
Read through the nominees and cast your vote. We’ll send a free SBLive T-shirt to the winner of the poll! Voting will conclude Sunday at 11:59 p.m. and the winner will be announced Monday.
Editor’s Note: Our Athlete of the Week feature and corresponding poll is intended to be fun, and we do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. However, we do not allow votes that are generated by script, macro or other automated means. Athletes that receive votes generated by script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified.
Alex Aikens, Senior, Combs – Helping Combs defeat Shadow Mountain 59-46 on Wednesday, Aikens led the team in scoring with 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals, three deflections and an assist.
William Allen, Cortez, Senior – In Cortez’s 87-51 victory over Glendale on Tuesday, Allen led the game in scoring with 28 points on the night, good for a career high while shooting 67 percent from the field. Allen also had six assists, five rebounds and two steals to help the Colts get the win.
Jared Arias, Junior, Cibola – With a career-best performance on Friday night, Arias helped Cibola pick up a 52-50 victory over North. With 19 points, seven rebounds, seven steals and an assist, he helped the Raiders edge the Mustangs.
Luke Arington, Senior, Shadow Ridge – Arington, who was a standout player for the Stallions last season, led the game in scoring by putting up 19 points, five rebounds and five assists in the 74-48 defeat of Maryvale on Monday.
Kota Benson, Junior, Mesa – Benson led the team nearly across all metrics on Monday in the 56-44 victory over Westview. With 19 points on the night, Benson also had six assists, five steals and four rebounds along with three deflections to help the Jackrabbits come out on top. He followed it up on Tuesday with another double-double, notching 20 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and a block in the 59-46 victory over Cesar Chavez.
Tay Bloomer, Senior, Peoria – Putting up a career high of 24 points on Thursday night in the 94-59 victory over Poston Butte, Bloomer’s performance combined with his teammate Andrew Camacho helped Peoria to a dominant win. Along with his shooting, which was an outstanding 91 percent from the field, he also had six rebounds and three steals in the game.
David Bright, Senior, Willow Canyon – Bright notched his third double-double of the season already in Wednesday’s 70-66 victory over Carl Hayden. He had 13 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, two deflections, a block and an assist in the game, teaming up with Pike Tancil to power ahead to the win.
Nate Calmese, Senior, Mesquite – While Calmese has had an explosive season at the rim, Tuesday’s performance in the 98-47 blowout of Combs was the most complete he’s had on the year. Calmese had a WILD triple-double in the win, putting up 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and seven steals on the night. On Thursday in the 89-2 rout of Apache Junction, Calmese had 25 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Andrew Camacho, Junior, Peoria – A frequent player to make the list last season, Camacho finds himself here once again for his explosive performance on Tuesday against Paradise Honors. Helping lead Peoria to an 81-73 victory over last season’s 4A runner-ups, Camacho had a whopping 40 points, five assists and three rebounds and steals. In Thursday’s 94-59 victory over Poston Butte on the road, he led the game in scoring once again with 30 points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists. He also had five deflections and a block.
Jesse Carrillo, Senior, Parker – In a 65-53 victory over Lake Havasu, Carrillo was able to secure a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He also had six assists, two steals, two deflections and a block.
Marcus Coleman, Senior, Pueblo – Posting his best performance of the season so far, Coleman helped Pueblo pick up the 61-40 win over Walden Grove on Thursday with 25 points, nine rebounds, eight defelections, three assists and three steals. On Saturday, he had another strong performance in the 69-64 OT win over Vista Grande, posting 25 points, six steals, four rebounds and an assist.
Cougar Cooke, Senior, Show Low – Cooke made the list last season for his performance with the smaller-school, which struggled last year. They’ve already won more games than they did last season (6-13 overall) by starting off the season 7-0, led by performances like Cooke’s. He had 29 points, six steals and three rebounds and assists in the 75-30 victory over Alchesay on Tuesday. He followed it up with another strong performance on Thursday in the 75-29 win over Valley High School (Sanders) with 25 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Deavon Felix, Senior, Greenway – Helping the Demons to a 51-43 victory over Independence on Tuesday, Felix led the team in scoring with 21 points on the night. He also had seven rebounds and two steals in the game to help pick up a win.
Kaleb Felix, Senior, Copper Canyon – The Aztecs were one of the Phoenix-area teams greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic last season, where players never got a chance to see the court. Despite that, Felix had an outstanding performance for Copper Canyon despite the team coming up short 78-71 against Mountain Ridge on Monday. Felix had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, along with six assists, two blocks and a steal.
Brayden Gant, Junior, Coolidge – Notching a career-high 24 points on Friday in the 80-43 victory over Sequoia Pathway Academy, Gant also had three rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and two deflections to help the Bears cruise to the win.
Carter Gittens, Junior, Sunrise Mountain – It was a high-intensity game on Monday between the Liberty Lions and the Sunrise Mountain Mustangs, but the ponies were able to run away with it 70-60 thanks to an outstanding performance by the entire team. Gittens led the team in scoring, putting up 21 points while shooting 53% from the field. He also had six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.
Yarell Greer, Junior, Higley – Leading the game in scoring with 27 points, Greer’s 61-percent shooting from the field was a career best and helped Higley to a 59-51 win over Dysart on Tuesday. Greer also made things tough for Dysart’s offense, putting up seven deflections and six steals to go with his four rebounds and two assists in the win.
Adam Gonzalez, Senior, Tucson – Doubling his career-best, Gonzalez put up 32 points in the 68-58 victory over Sunnyside for an outstanding performance to put himself on the map. He also had seven rebounds, five steals and an assist in the win.
Cohen J Gonzales, Junior, Mesquite – Another player who made appearances on the list last season, Gonzales had a strong game on Friday to help the Wildcats to a 73-49 victory over Estrella Foothills. Gonzales had 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals on the night.
Brady Henige, Sophomore, Cactus – In Wednesday’s wild game against Prescott, Henige helped the Cactus Cobras edge the Badgers 90-84 by dominating the statbook. Henige’s 30 points and 18 rebounds came in clutch for the Cobras. He also had three assists and a block to help nab the win.
Vari Hogan, Junior, Tolleson – After playing varsity hoops for Tolleson his freshman year, he and his squad were sidelined for the duration of last season due to the pandemic. As they work to make their way back into the competition, Hogan had an outstanding performance on Friday in the 72-45 victory over Maryvale. He posted a career-high 30 points, along with two rebounds, two assists and a steal to help snag the win.
Caden Hunter, Junior, Liberty – Dropping a double-double in Thursday’s 96-37 victory over Westview, Hunter posted 17 points and 14 rebounds, along with five assists, three deflections, two blocks and a steal to help the Lions pick up the win.
Didi Iradukunda, Senior, Copper Canyon – Another player impacted by the pandemic shutdown last season, Iradukunda is making his varsity debut with the Aztecs as he looks to help elevate their competitiveness on the court. After putting up a career-high 24 points, nine rebounds and a steal on Monday in the 78-71 loss to Mountain Ridge, he closed out the week with another strong performance to help his team get a 76-48 win over Alhambra. He posted 21 points, four rebounds and a trio of two blocks, assists and steals in the victory.
Elrick Jamerson, Sophomore, La Jolla Community – Another team who didn’t get a chance to play last season, Jamerson is making his high school debut this year with a bang. With his best performance of the year so far, Jamerson had 24 points, seven rebounds, two steals and an assist to help the Lobos pick up a 58-54 win over Metro Tech on Thursday.
Cooper Jones, Senior, Buena – Lifting Buena to a 70-49 victory on Friday, Jones had 20 points, nine rebounds, three deflections, two assists, a steal and a block to help the Colts defeat the Rincon Rangers.
Ja’kwan Jordan, Sophomore, Casa Grande – Helping the 4A Cougars pull off a big 59-56 win over 5A Paradise Valley on Tuesday, Jordan posted a double-double while tying his career-best in scoring and a career-high in rebounds, posting 16 points, 11 rebounds, five deflections, two steals and an assist.
Isaiah Kai, Junior, Campo Verde – Kai was one of the players on the list a couple times last season who makes an appearance on our initial list for this season for his explosive game on Tuesday against West Point. Kai put up 29 points on the night while shooting an outstanding 76 percent from the field. He also had a trio of five rebounds, assists and steals to help Campo Verde pull off a 76-56 win.
Richard Legarra, Junior, Flowing Wells – Leading Thursday’s game against Amphitheater in scoring, Legarra notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the 78-50 win. He also had five deflections, four blocks, three assists and two steals on the night.
Max Lightfoot, Junior, Gilbert Christian – Helping the Knights rally back from a loss the night before, Lightfoot had a strong performance by tying his career high of 19 points to help pick up a 68-53 win over Florence. He also had eight rebounds, two deflections and a steal.
Devin Miramontez, Sophomore, Casa Grande – In only his third varsity game of his career, Miramontez had a stellar game to help the Cougars pick up a 61-45 win over Cholla on Thursday. Miramontez led the game in scoring with 21 points, while also swiping five rebounds, four assists, four steals and four deflections.
Ahmed Mohamed, Senior, Apollo – Lifting Apollo to a 61-50 victory over Cactus Shadows on Tuesday, Mohamed was doing it all for the Hawks. He had 25 points on the night while shooting 63 percent from the field, along with six rebounds, five assists and five steals. On Friday, he posted a career-high 34 points in the 94-75 victory over Kellis, along with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Titus Palmer, Junior, Sahuaro – In Tuesday’s 77-59 victory over Rio Rico, Palmer led the game in scoring with 34 points on the night, good for a career high. He also had three rebounds, three steals and two assists in the win.
Kendre Pride, Sophomore, Carl Hayden – Making his high school debut after Carl Hayden’s canceled 2020-21 season, Pride has had a phenomenal start so far to make a name for himself early. In his third game, Pride put up 22 points, seven steals, three deflections, three rebounds and two assists in the close 70-66 loss to Willow Canyon.
Elijah Saunders, Senior, Sunnyslope – Saunders was dominant for the Vikings last season and made quite a few appearances on our Player of the Week list. This year, he’s starting things off strong once again, as he dominated the hardwood on Monday against South Mountain in Sunnyslope’s 67-29 victory. Saunders had 19 points while shooting 58 percent from the field, with four rebounds and three assists in the win.
Ernesto Scroggins, Junior, McClintock – Helping McClintock to an 88-57 victory over their crosstown rivals at Tempe, Scroggins shot 83 percent from the field to put 20 points on the board. His 10 assists helped him notch a double-double in the game, while he also had four steals and a rebound to help dominate on the court.
Noah Sowunmi, Sophomore, Paradise Valley – Welcome to the big stage, Sowunmi. In only his fifth varsity appearance on Friday, he burst onto the scene by posting a double-double with 31 points and 12 rebounds. He also had three assists, one steal and one block to help defeat Shadow Mountain 68-40.
Jordan Talbert, Senior, Carl Hayden – Another school impacted by the pandemic last year and causing a total shutdown for the district’s athletic activities was Carl Hayden. Talbert is bursting onto the scene this season, as he led the Falcons to a 68-46 victory over La Joya on Tuesday with a double-double. He had 18 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, two deflections and an assist.
Pike Tancil, Senior, Willow Canyon – Welcome to your senior season, Pike Tancil. The standout player for the Wildcats is off to quite the start once again. In Wednesday’s 70-66 victory over Carl Hayden, Tancil had 23 points, five assists, four rebounds, three deflections, two blocks and a steal. He closed the week with a sizzling 40 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two deflections and a steal to help Willow Canyon edge Ironwood Ridge 85-81.
Jaylen Wesley, Senior, McClintock – In Tuesday’s victory over Tempe, Wesley teamed up with Scroggins as the primary scorers, also dropping 20 points on the night. Wesley, however, had a double-double in the win, securing 11 rebounds, along with two steals, two assists and a block in the 88-57 win. Wesley also helped lead the team to victory on Thursday against Verrado. With 26 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists, Wesley was the leader on the court in the 80-44 win.