Cochran wins Region Coach of the Year as Bearcat Hoops earns Region Awards
Published 4:29 pm Monday, March 6, 2023
As basketball season came to a close for the Bearcats on February 25 after a narrow loss to Fayette County, many Bearcats are receiving All-Region Awards for their performance in the 2022-23 season that led the Bearcats to an outstanding 26-3 record and a 9-0 record in region play. Five Bearcats as well as head coach Kelvin Cochran were recognized for their accomplishments this season.
Head Coach Kelvin Cochran was named 2022-23 Region 1-AAAA Head Coach of the Year after leading the Bearcats to 26 wins, including 22 straight wins from the beginning of December through the middle of February. Cochran also reached 200 career wins this season after the Bearcats defeated Westover on Jan. 27.
Although was thrilled to receive this award, his graces went to the work and effort that his players put in all season long.
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“Our young men deserve all the credit for this award,” said Cochran. “They had a great regular season posting a record of 24-1 with that one loss coming to Lowndes Co. by one point and a 8-0 region record. I’m happy to accept this award in honor of them and my assistant coaches.”
After leading the Bearcats this season in points per game, rebounds per game and blocks per game, senior KJ Cocrhan was selected First Team All-Region after averaging 13.1 ppg and seven rebounds per game, while shooting a consistent 40% from the field. Cochran’s presence in the paint made the Bearcats difficult to defend, especially with Cochran shooting above 70% from the three point line.
Bearcats KJ Bryant, VJ Ervin and AJ Grant were all selected to Second Team All-Region after having tremendous seasons both offensively and defensively. KJ Bryant was third on the Bearcats in points per game, averaging 7.4 per game as well as steals per game and total points. VJ Ervin was a force defensively, leading the team in steals per game with 3.1, as well as averaging 4.2 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game. AJ Grant was an offensive spark for the Bearcats this year, knocking down jump shots at a consistent 32% from three while averaging 8.2 points per game, second best on the team.
Another Bearcat that deserves to be mentioned is senior Dontavious Broadnax. Broadnax received All-Region honorable mention after an impactful senior season that saw Broadnax further develop as a consistent two-way player for the Bearcats. Broadnax was tied for first on the team in field goal percentage with a 40% shooting percentage, led the team in assists with 2.8 per game and was second on the team in steals.
Coach Cochran was not only proud of his players for being recognized, but was proud of the way that they competed and worked every day this season. Each player contributed to the team’s success in 2023.
“I’m very proud of our guys for being voted All Region selections by the other coaches in the region,” said Cochran. “To have KJ selected first team and Ked, VJ and AJ selected second team and Dontae selected honorable mention speaks volume of the kind of young men and talent on our team this year.”
Something that Coach Cochran has emphasized to his team all season is the importance of life lessons. Cochran most importantly wants to prepare his players to become young men and teach them qualities that they can use in their lives after high school.
“I’m big on teaching life lessons,” said Cochran. “I’m a believer that sports help prepare our players for life. I’ve always believed the things we go through and the manner in which we go about taking care of our daily business will help prepare our players for life events. Things that it takes to be a part of the team environment like hard work, commitment, working with others even if you don’t like them, learning how to communicate and dealing with consequences from their actions are big growth factors for becoming young adults.”