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The nearly 800 students at St. John’s Jesuit joined together Friday afternoon inside the Titans gym to offer congratulatory cheers and a standing ovation to Marc Loving, who was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball earlier in the week.
Loving, the 6-foot-8 senior, who will continue his studies and play at Ohio State in the fall, kept his words brief as he stood near midcourt and made a statement before students, coaches, and administrators.
“I want to thank you all for supporting Titans basketball this year,” Loving said. “Thank you. Go Titans.”
The soft-spoken and mild-mannered Loving was a four-year standout who made far more noise on the same court with his versatile hoops game than he ever has verbally.
PHOTO GALLERY: Mr. Basketball
It was his all-around skills that earned him the highest individual honor across the state. The Mr. Basketball announcement placed Loving in special company of past honorees, including the likes of Toledo’s Jim Jackson (1988, 1989) and William Buford (2008), who both also went on to play at Ohio State. LeBron James was a three-time selection during his time at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
“This is indeed a remarkable accomplishment and is very difficult to achieve,” St. John’s coach Ed Heintschel said to the crowd.
Loving averaged a team-high 21.3 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field and helping the Titans post a 20-4 record. A two-time All-Blade player of the year, Loving finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,678) and rebounder (711).
“This is an exciting moment,” Loving said. “It’s one of the greatest moments of my career. I’m very honored to be able to accept this award. It’s definitely an accomplishment.”
Heintschel has worked with his share of talented players during his 34 years at St. John’s.
“I’m really proud of him and we’ve had some great players here in B.J. [Raymond], Brian Roberts, and Shane Komives, [who] were all great players,” Heintschel said. “For [Loving] to be able to get this achievement is a tremendous tribute to him. He’s a very hard worker. There aren’t too many 6-foot-8 guys that can do what he can do.
“He’s got some God-given tools, but he has developed them with a great deal of discipline.”
Loving became the 26th winner of the annual award given by the Associated Press.
“I’m proud for the program and I’m proud of being able to coach him and watch him develop,” Heintschel said. “I think we put him in a position to develop and to improve. I tell all the kids it’s basically up to them to do the work. We give them the framework and the opportunity and some guidance, but it’s up to the young man at the end of the day to do it. Marc was able to accomplish that, and we’re proud of him.”
Lamb is all-state
Jackson Lamb of Bedford was named to the Michigan Class A all-state boys basketball first team for the second straight season.
Lamb, a 6-foot-6 senior who has signed to play baseball at the University of Michigan, averaged 26 points, 10.9 rebounds to help the 18-8 Mules win the Southeastern Conference Red Division championship.