PAWTUCKET – The all-time leading scorer in R.I. Interscholastic League boys basketball history has claimed another honor.
Thursday morning saw Shea High standout Erickson Bans recognized as the 2019-20 Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Basketball Player of the Year. A guard who has verbally committed to play college basketball at Bryant University, Bans is the first Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Shea High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Bans as Rhode Island’s best high school boys basketball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award, Bans joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph High School, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln High School, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood High School, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington High School, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Calif.).
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound senior guard led the Raiders to a 17-8 record and a berth in the Open State Tournament at the time of his selection. Bans averaged 30.1 points and 6.0 assists through 25 games. He ended his high school career with 2,605 points.
An assistant coach for the Shea High Unified basketball team, which promotes social inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities, Bans has also volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and maintains a weighted 3.44 GPA in the classroom.
“Erickson is a scary player to prepare for and to coach against,” said Joe Occhi, head coach of Portsmouth High. “He has next-level quickness and unlimited shooting range when he gets going. He has the ability to click for 30-40 points in any game.”
Bans joins Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Basketball Players of the Year Tyler Kolek (2018-19, St. George's School), Brycen Goodine (2017-18, St. Andrew's School), Cole Swider (2016-17, St. Andrew's School), Justin Mazzulla (2015-16, Bishop Hendricken High School) and Corey Daugherty (2014-15, Barrington High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03