Written by SportsDayDFW.com
All-Area Basketball: Spotlight's glare didn't faze LeBryan Nash
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LeBryan Nash, Lincoln
Sr., F 6-7, 230
LeBryan Nash’s first varsity game, as a freshman, pitted him against South Oak Cliff senior J’Mison Morgan, a 6-11 living vessel of athleticism and length. And the freshman dunked on him.
Yep, Nash’s first high school points came on a dunk against one of the best seniors in Dallas. If area hoop heads hadn’t already christened him as the next one to carry the Chris Bosh-LaMarcus Aldridge-Darrell Arthur legacy, they had now.
So it went for these last four years for The Dallas Morning News’ Player of the Year. Plenty celebrated his game while others wondered if he deserved the top five national ranking. Either way, the bright light always shined on him. Everyone assigned expectations.
“I always heard it, especially after the games,” Nash said. “People would say, ‘is he really one of the top players in the nation?’ I never let it go to my head. I know who I am.”
Nash averaged 21.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists this year and led his team to the 4A regional final, where it lost to eventual champion Kimball. He is quick to point out his season was incomplete. His oft-repeated line in the playoffs was simply, “great players win state championships.” And he didn’t win one.
But despite not attaining his goal, Nash put together a remarkable run. He averaged 29.2 points a game in the playoffs and scored 43 against South Oak Cliff, making a running three-pointer that sent the game to overtime.
“He does a lot of things you take for granted or you see it and you take for granted,” Lincoln coach Leonard Bishop said. “He was really focused. I’ve not see him that focused.”
When his high school career ended with the loss to Kimball, Nash slumped out of the gym, the last one back to the locker room. He said he started practicing the next day and hasn’t stopped working on his game since.
He’ll play in the McDonald’s All-American game on March 30 but after that college looms. That’s why he is working. He has signed with Oklahoma State, where he will face competition just as athletic and talented as he is.
Nash says he is ready, and, he hopes, ready for the next level after college. Of course, there will be more expectations along the way, and he is ready for those too.
Stats: Averaged 23.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.8 steals
Notable: Nash is the area’s lone McDonald’s All-American.