AJ Grant named All-Region 1st team, Zyrell Williams, Cam Sanders earn region honors

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, March 7, 2024

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Three Bearcat basketball players were recognized with region awards for the 2023-2024 season. Senior guard AJ Grant was chosen for the first team, senior guard Zyrell Williams was named to the second team and senior guard Cam Sanders was an honorable mention.

“They’re program guys,” Bearcats’ head coach Kelvin Cochran said. “They bring their senior spirits, their depth being in the program and their willingness to just keep working every day.”

Grant’s first team nomination comes after a season of leading the Bearcats. Grant was a co-captain with second-teamer Zyrell Williams and was in the top spot of over half of statistical categories from the season. 

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Grant averaged 16.5 points per game and shot 40% from the field. He scored a career-high 31 points in a game against Monroe and was the highest-scoring player on the team in almost every game. 

“I put a lot on his shoulders this year,” Cochran said. “I’m very proud of him, the way he’s stepped up and tried to be a leader… you can see a shift in him and the way he goes about his business.”

Zyrell Williams was named to the second team. Williams was co-captain with Grant and served as the Bearcat’s go-to three-point shooter. He was tied with region honorable mention Cam Sanders for the highest 3-point percentage (30%) and attempted the second-most three-point shots at 144.

Williams came into this year off a season-ending leg injury in 2022-2023. Cochran said he was proud of how Williams handled the adversity and bounced back this season.

“He started to impress me last year,” Cochran said. “When he was hurt, he didn’t just sulk and kind of fade into the background because he wasn’t playing. He started displaying leadership skills just by him encouraging the guys, picking up the guys, you know what I mean?”

Sanders was an honorable mention; if there was a “region sixth man of the year” award, he would’ve taken it. Sanders played most of his minutes off the bench, and Cochran said he was a key piece to the Bearcats’ success. 

“He always gave us a good spark coming off the bench,” Cochran said. “He came in and competed, you know what I’m saying- he just do what he do.”

All three players have been a part of the Bearcat Basketball program since seventh grade, and Cochran said that was a plus for the season.

“They’re program kids,” Cochran said. “I felt confident in them and, you know, going to war with them.”