Gathers leads All-Parish boys team

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012



RESERVE — Riverside made its way to a third consecutive state championship game while East St. John secured the most wins in a season in school history — facts that are certainly reflected in L’Observateur’s selections for the 2012 All-St. John Parish boys basketball team.

A combined five Rebel and Wildcat players earn spots on the roster, led by Riverside’s Ricardo Gathers, who for the third straight season earns parish Most Valuable Player honors.

East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine joins those players, as well as representatives from St. Charles Catholic and West St. John, as this season’s St. John Coach of the Year.

Gathers led a Riverside team that finished as a state runner-up; the 6-foot-8-inch senior’s prep career wraps up with three state titles, three state title game MVPs, two Class 2A MVPs and a selection as Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball as a junior.

This season was his strongest individually, as Gathers piled up 21 points and 17 rebounds per game in leading Riverside to a 36-10 overall record. The highlight of the season for Gathers and Riverside was likely it’s victory at the City of the Palms tournament over Miller Grove; Miller Grove was a top-three ranked team nationally at the time by multiple sources. Gathers, a Baylor commitment, turned in 19 points and 15 rebounds against fellow top recruit Tony Parker.

Joining him on the All-Parish squad are Rebel teammates Donald Thomas Jr. and Lucas Martin-Julien. Each player picked up more offensive responsibility and excelled in the wake of the early season injury to Tulane commitment Louis Dabney, who was RA’s second leading scorer in the 2010-11 season.

Jasmine led East St. John to a record of 24-7, the 24 representing the most wins in school history. East St. John won a district championship for the third time in the last four seasons; prior to Jasmine’s arrival as head coach, the Wildcats had never won a district crown.

Two of his anchors this season were Joseph Williams and Elex Carter. Carter, a 6-foot-7 center, has been the Wildcats defensive backbone, but this season became a much more efficient offensive threat. Williams, meanwhile, reprised his role as ESJ’s top scorer and go-to player.

John Williams represents St. Charles Catholic on the roster. Williams led SCC in scoring and topped 1,000 career points this season.

Lawrence Williams was the man West St. John coach Antoine Edwards tabbed as his defensive stopper this season, most often tasked with defending the opposing team’s top scorer. The Rams’ senior rounds out the All-Parish squad.