Sandy Creek’s Smith a finalist for Gatorade national award

March 12, 2021 Macon - Cross Creek's Devin Pope (left) steals a ball from Sandy Creek's Jabari Smith (10) during the 2021 GHSA State Basketball Class AAA Boys Championship game at the Macon Centreplex in Macon on Friday, March 12, 2021 Cross Creek won 57-49 over Sandy Creek. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
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March 12, 2021 Macon - Cross Creek's Devin Pope (left) steals a ball from Sandy Creek's Jabari Smith (10) during the 2021 GHSA State Basketball Class AAA Boys Championship game at the Macon Centreplex in Macon on Friday, March 12, 2021 Cross Creek won 57-49 over Sandy Creek. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Sandy Creek’s Jabari Smith, the AJC’s all-classification player of the year for the 2020-21 season, has been named one of three finalists for the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year Award.

The 6-foot-10 senior forward averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks per game for a team that went 28-5 and reached the state finals for the first time.

Smith, who has signed with Auburn, is the consensus No. 4 recruit and No. 2 power forward nationally. He was the Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All-American Game selection and one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith High School Trophy.

The other candidates for the Gatorade national award are Chet Holmgren, a senior center from Minneapolis who has committed to Gonzaga, and Donovan Clingan, a junior center from Bristol, Conn. The winner of the award will be announced next week.

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