Adam Ross’ deft hand at incorporating three stars into Sagemont’s Class 3A state championship boys basketball team and ultimately leading the Lions to an upset of then No. 1 Jacksonville Providence in the state semifinals brought the FABC Class 3A Coach of the Year award.
“It’s an honor, there are some other great coaches throughout the state and in the 3A classification,” Ross said. “It’s a testament to not just my ability as a coach but my coaching staff and the players and all the hard work they put in. You don’t usually won it unless you have an outstanding team.”
The Lions (33-0) erased any questions whether there would be enough shots to go around for highly touted transfers Prince Ali, a 6-4 Connecticut commit, UCLA 6-11 signee G.G. Goloman and point guard Lance Crawford along with holdovers Joe Kirby and Jordan Cooper. Sagemont rolled through the regular season before earning the distinction of first Broward team to finish unbeaten.
American Heritage’s Charles Stephenson won the FABC 5A Coach of the year after helping the Patriots capture a state title which had proved elusive.
Ali was named the FABC 3A Player of the year while Heritage 6-10 center Drake LaMont, a force inside for the Patriots, took 5A honors.
Winning the 3A award was vindication for Ali, who finished behind Jacksonville Providence’s Grayson Allen for the Florida Dairy Farmer’s 3A award, despite outscoring Allen, a highly touted Druke recruit, 22-9 in the state semifinals.
"This pretty much just says I definitely had a better year than Allen,'' Ali said. "I'm already a confident player but doing that against a McDonald's All American was real good for my confidence. Winning the state championship was like putting the cherry on the top."