P2P NCS Boys Basketball Honors
Stuart Hall's Nigel Burris (35) is the NCS Freshman of the Year.

NCS Freshman of the Year

With just three seniors on the Stuart Hall roster, and none of them starters, it would have been easy to overlook or dismiss the Knights’ chances of going very far in the post-season this year. But when your cast of underclassmen include players such as 6-foot-4 freshman Nigel Burris, those chances increase exponentially.

As Burris became a force in the Bay Area, the Knights thrived on the court. The only team in the BCL-West which had Stuart Hall’s number during the season was University, which handed the Knights a trio of defeats. Stuart Hall’s run in the section playoffs may have come to a premature end, but the Knights more than made up for it in the state playoffs, taking down top-seeded Santa Cruz in the regional quarterfinals and then avenging their loss in the section quarterfinals by downing Saint Mary’s-Albany in the regional final to reach the state championship game against View Park-Los Angeles.

Even in a loss to View Park to finish the season, Burris thrived on the biggest stage, contributing 13 points and eight rebounds at the Golden 1 Center. In the regional quarterfinal upset of Santa Cruz, Burris led the way for the Knights, scoring a game-high 16 points, including the clinching free throws. The same held true when Stuart Hall reached the final of the BCL-West tournament, when Burris led all scorers with 15 points in a semifinal win over Lick-Wilmerding.

“Nigel had a spectacular year as a freshman. His work ethic and basketball IQ are off the charts for such a young player,” said Stuart Hall coach Charles Johnson. “He also has a knack for coming through in big moments. Most importantly, he’s a very kind-hearted kid, someone who has a huge impact on our program.”

Burris not only came through in those key moments, but played consistently all year long for a program which will return five starters next season after reaching a state final. He averaged close to 14 points and seven rebounds per game for Stuart Hall, making his presence felt both as a scorer and someone who could clean up the glass.

For his efforts throughout the season, we are pleased to recognize Nigel Burris as our North Coast Section Freshman of the Year.

Other players considered for this award include Cornerstone Christian’s Jacob Ebert, Cloverdale’s Josh Lemley, and San Marin’s Tyson Geraci.

NOTE: We would like to thank our media partners, coaches, parents, players and fans for contributing photos for our all-section features. We salute all of the players that have made this a wonderful season of NCS basketball.