With so many murmurs portending bad times for Missouri basketball now that Frank Haith has taken the helm, we're missing out on an opportunity to do some serious celebrating about a positive news story in the world of local hoops.
Earlier this week, Chaminade standout Bradley Beal was named the Gatorade national high school basketball player of the year. It's the first time a Missouri hoopster has taken home that title, and just the third occasion in which Gatorade has given its covet-worthy trophy to any high school athlete in the state.
RFT's 2010 "Best High School Athlete," Beal is a six-foot-four, 205-pound two-guard who averaged 32.4 points this year, shooting 73 percent from the field. Beal helped lead Chaminade High School to the Class 5 state title last year; this year the Red Devils went 27-1, won the Metro Catholic Conference championship and advanced to the Class 5 quarterfinals. The Gatorade guard will soon become a Gator guard; in the fall, he'll be taking his talents to the University of Florida.
Beal ended his prep career with 2,634 points, the fourth-highest total in St. Louis history, and also maintained a 91.7 average in the classroom as an honor roll student, according to Gatorade. Over at the Post-Dispatch, there's been debate as to whether Beal is the greatest high school basketball player ever to come out of the region.
The other two Gatorade honorees from Missouri were soccer players Matt McKeon of DeSmet (1992) and Kevin Hundelt of Aquinas-Mercy (1986).