Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Darryn Peterson making strong case for Ohio Mr. Basketball
Ohio Mr. Basketball could be coming to the Greater Akron area for the second time in three seasons.
The numbers don’t lie for Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy’s Darryn Peterson, who is making a strong case for the award. The sophomore averages 31.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.6 steals for the Principals Athletic Conference champion Royals.
“It’s definitely a goal of mine to win it,” the 6-foot-5 Peterson said. “I’ve been working really hard for that. I want to win it for my grandma. It would mean a lot to join that list.”
Here's what you need to know about the award and the other top contenders to win it this year.
When was the first Ohio Mr. Basketball awarded
The Associated Press began selecting an Ohio Mr. Basketball in 1988. Future Ohio State All-American and NBA star Jimmy Jackson of Toledo Macomber won the award its first two years, his junior and senior seasons.
Who is the last Akron-area player to win Ohio Mr. Basketball
St. Vincent-St. Mary graduate Malaki Branham won the award in 2021 when he led the Fighting Irish to a Division II state championship. Branham spent last season starring at Ohio State before entering the NBA draft and being selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. He is averaging 8.0 points as a Spurs rookie, including scoring 26 and 22 points in the team's last two games.
Who are the Akron-area's other Ohio Mr. Basketball winners
The Greater Akron-area's first winner was Tony Stockman of Medina in 2000. He scored 12.4 points per game as a four-year college player (two at Clemson, then two at Ohio State).
The City of Akron's first winner is its most famous — LeBron James, who won it three consecutive years at STVM (2001-03) at the start of his journey to becoming the NBA's all-time leading scorer. He is the only three-time winner.
The case for Darryn Peterson for Ohio Mr. Basketball
There are the numbers (see above). There are the national rankings, including Peterson being ranked fifth in the 2025 recruiting class by ESPN. There are the college offers, including from Kentucky, Ohio State, Xavier, Indiana, LSU and West Virginia among his 24 offers. And, perhaps most importantly, according to his coach, there's just watching him play.
“I played against a Mr. Basketball and he won it three years in a row,” said CVCA coach Matt Futch, who played against James at Buchtel. “I coached a kid that was in the running to be a Mr. Basketball a couple of years ago (Chris Livingston at Buchtel, now at Kentucky). To see (Peterson) do what he does and watch the film afterwards, it’s a surreal feeling.
“I know what a Mr. Basketball looks like, and I’m going to be biased but it’s him if I had a vote. I’m sure a lot of coaches would agree. It’s the totality of it. The rebounds, the steals, the assists, the efficiency of how he does it.”
Who are among 2023's top Ohio Mr. Basketball candidates
Gabe Cupps, Centerville
6-foot-2, point guard, senior
Cupps is the reigning Mr. Basketball and an Indiana signee. He is averaging 15.2 points, 6.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds for the reigning Division I state runner-up. He’s ranked 67th in his recruiting class.
Jerry Easter, Toledo Emmanuel Christian,
6-foot-4, shooting guard, sophomore
Easter is the only one of the eight other players listed here averaging more points (33.9) than Peterson. He counts USC, UCLA and Ohio State among his 23 college offers and averaged 33.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over the last two weeks.
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Dorian Jones, Richmond Heights
6-foot-3, shooting guard, junior
Jones was an honorable mention Division IV All-Ohioan last season. He is averaging 20.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals for the reigning state champions and holds offers from Cincinnati, Ohio State and Arizona State.
Austin Parks, St. Mary's Memorial
6-foot-11, center, senior
Parks is ranked as the sixth-best player in the state and is a four-star recruit. He has signed with Ohio State and is the Roughriders’ all-time leader in points (1,398) and points in a game (46). He is averaging 22.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
Devin Royal, Pickerington Central
6-foot-7, power forward, senior
Royal scored his 1,000th career point in the third game this season and the Ohio State signee could catch career points leader and current Houston Rocket Jae’Sean Tate (1,489) with a solid postseason run. Last season, he averaged 19.6 points to earn first-team All-Ohio honors.
Dailyn Swain, Africentric
6-foot-7, small forward, senior
Swain has signed with Xavier and is the reigning Division III Player of the Year. He is averaging 18.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists for the reigning state semifinalist Nubians and is ranked 85th in his recruiting class.
George Washington III, Dayton Chaminade Julienne
6-foot-2, small forward, senior
Washington may be the biggest threat to Peterson. The Michigan signee is averaging 25.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists after transferring from Christian Academy (Louisville, Ky.). His family moved to Ohio after his dad was named an assistant coach for the University of Dayton’s women’s basketball team.
Collin White, Ottawa-Glandorf
6-foot-5 guard, shooting guard, junior
White is averaging 20.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals. A first-team All-Ohioan last season, he holds the school record for points in a game (44) and has 1,163 career points. He has offers from Akron, Cincinnati and West Virginia.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @bbournival.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Darryn Peterson is sophomore who could win Ohio Mr. Basketball