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Boys' basketball player of the year (5A/4A): Josh Scott, Lewis-Palmer
Josh Scott was in eighth grade the first time he encountered an autograph seeker.
“This little kid came up to me after a game and said, ‘You’re going to be famous one day. Can I have your autograph?’ He had this little piece of paper. So I signed it,” Scott said. “All of my teammates were like, “Oh, the big shot is signing autographs in the eighth grade.’ I just thought it was a huge compliment.”
Since then, as Scott put together one of the finest high school basketball careers in state history and signed a scholarship with Colorado, the requests have come with increasing regularity. So much that Scott now has a “battle-hardened signature.”
All that attention easily could have led to some complacency, but that hasn’t been an issue. The star center continued to improve to the point where he was the state’s leading scorer as a senior and carried the Rangers to their first 4A state title since 1994.
Helping to keep Scott grounded is a large family not easily impressed with athletic achievements. His father, Alton Scott, was an Air Force football player who helped the Falcons beat Notre Dame in the 1980s. His mother, Theresa Scott, played basketball for Air Force.
Behind Josh are four brothers ranging in age from 11th to fifth grade. All of them are athletes.
“I always get annoyed with people who have a big head,” Scott said. “It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. But I have great people around me to keep me humble.”
Scott helped Lewis-Palmer to the semifinals as a sophomore and junior, but he returned for his senior year as an unstoppable force.
He credited three factors.
First, a foot injury that plagued his junior season finally healed. Second, the hours of time in the weight room and gym. And third, offseason games against the nation’s elite.
There was also the hunger left by those near misses.
“It felt like a weight off my shoulders almost after trying for it for three years and falling short in the final four,” Scott said. “That was always tough. Winning a state championship and winning 27 games in a row my senior year is something I’ll always remember — and the teammates I did it with and coaches I did it with.”
After a week of celebrations, Scott is ready to continue to work necessary to make an impact in the Pac-12.
And beyond that, time will tell.
The last player to lead Lewis-Palmer to a state title was Pat Garrity, who eventually forged a long career in the NBA. Garrity’s jersey is now on display at Lewis-Palmer’s gym.
Some day, many autographs from now, Scott just might get the same treatment. If so, it would fulfill the vision of that young boy who saw it all coming so long ago.
“I’m going to see what basketball can get me here in the future,” Scott said. “Who knows, maybe 10 years from now I’ll be coming back and my jersey will be up on the wall. That would be an amazing, cool thing.”
And it would be the ultimate compliment.