Area Players and Coaches Recognized for Outstanding Seasons

ATLANTA (March 22, 2024) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club today announced its annual high school basketball honorees, led by Danielle Carnegie and Airious “Ace” Bailey claiming the Miss and Mr. Georgia Basketball titles, respectively. Carnegie, a senior from Grayson High School, is a Georgia Tech commit, while Bailey, a senior from McEachern, will play collegiately for Rutgers next season. Bailey was also recently named a finalist and 1st Team All-America selection for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Player of the Year award, making him the second player from Atlanta to be recognized with these honors in so many years (Isaiah Collier, 2023).

Additionally, the Atlanta Metro High School Girls Player of the Year is Ava Grace Watson, a senior at Buford High School and an Ohio State commit. Gicarri Harris, also a senior at Grayson High School, and a Purdue commit, earned the Atlanta Metro High School Boys Player of the Year

For outstanding coaching in the Atlanta area, two sets of honors are awarded. The Cremins Award, recognizing schools participating in Regions 5A-7A, goes to the pair of Grayson High School head coaches, Tim Slater (Girls) and Geoffrey Pierce (Boys). Both coaches led their teams to a 7-A state championship this season, including an undefeated record of 32-0 for Coach Slater.

Jan Azar of Hebron Christian Academy and Jon-Michael Nickerson from Sandy Creek are named winners of the Pinholster Award, for schools in Regions 1A-4A. Azar earns this honor for the second season in a row after winning their third state championship in four seasons while Nickerson led his team to a second state championship in the last two years.

Additionally, the Atlanta Tipoff Club revealed the Atlanta All-Metro High School Girls and Boys Teams with 30 outstanding Girls and Boys recognized. The player honors were compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Selection Committees, chaired by Azar (Girls) and Norcross High School Head Coach Jesse McMillan (Boys).


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include AXIA Time, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.

Media Contact:

Mallory Hadaway, Atlanta Tipoff Club
[email protected]
(256) 682-0599

Metro Atlanta Girls Honorees

Miss Georgia BasketballDanielleCarnegieSeniorGrayson High SchoolGeorgia Tech
Metro POYAva GraceWatsonSeniorBuford High SchoolOhio State
First TeamAubreyBeckhamJuniorHebron Christian Academy
First TeamBryannaPrestonSeniorWesleyan SchoolTexas
First TeamHaileeSwainJuniorHoly Innocents' Episcopal SchoolStanford
First TeamTiannaThompsonSeniorThe Galloway SchoolGeorgia Tech
First TeamChazadi (Chit-Chat)WrightSeniorWesleyan SchoolGeorgia Tech
Second TeamJa'kerraButlerJuniorHebron Christian Academy
Second TeamGabbieGroomsSeniorTrinity Christian SchoolGeorgia Tech
Second TeamKateHarpringSophomoreMarist School
Second TeamErinRodgersSeniorGrayson High SchoolFAU
Second TeamToniWarrenSeniorCherokee High SchoolWofford
Third TeamCiaraAlexanderSeniorMount Paran Christian SchoolCampbell
Third TeamJadaBatesSeniorMcEachern High SchoolArkansas
Third TeamKaylaCleavelandJuniorRiver Ridge High School
Third TeamBrookeSuttleSeniorCampbell High SchoolUniversity of Pennsylvania
Third TeamSa'MyaWyattSeniorSt. Francis High SchoolAustin Peay
Honorable MentionAvaAndrewsJuniorNorth Paulding High School
Honorable MentionTatumBrownJuniorGrayson High School
Honorable MentionTaliahCornishSeniorMaynard Jackson High School
Honorable MentionJocelynFaisonJuniorNew Manchester High School
Honorable MentionJessicaFieldsJuniorMount Paran Christian School
Honorable MentionJustusFitzgeraldJuniorNorcross High School
Honorable MentionMiaJamesJuniorHebron Christian Academy
Honorable MentionMalayaJonesSeniorGrayson High School
Honorable MentionCarolineMullinsSeniorPickens High SchoolUVA Wise
Honorable MentionDanielleOshoJuniorHebron Christian Academy
Honorable MentionSophiaPearlJuniorRiver Ridge High School
Honorable MentionDaijaPrestonJuniorCarrollton High School
Honorable MentionZaynahPrestonSeniorHoly Innocents' Episcopal SchoolAnderson
Honorable MentionBellaRagoneSophomoreMill Creek High School
Honorable MentionJah'NaesiaSpiersJuniorSouthwest DeKalb High School

Metro Atlanta Boys Honorees

Mr. Georgia BasketballAirious "Ace"BaileySeniorMcEachern High SchoolRutgers
Metro POYGicarriHarrisSeniorGrayson High SchoolPurdue
First TeamKarrisBilalSeniorRiverwood High SchoolVanderbilt
First TeamCJBrownSeniorKell High SchoolSouth Florida
First TeamBraedanLueSeniorAlexander High SchoolKennesaw State
First TeamMicahSmithSeniorSandy Creek High SchoolJames Madison
First TeamCalebWilsonJuniorHoly Innocents' Episcopal School
Second TeamAmariBrownSeniorSandy Creek High School
Second TeamJoshDixonJuniorMilton High School
Second TeamJoshHillSeniorWheeler High SchoolArkansas State
Second TeamTylisJordanJuniorShiloh High School
Second TeamJ.R.LeonardJuniorRiverwood High School
Third TeamMoustaphaDiopSophomoreThe Walker School
Third TeamMekhiRaglandJuniorBerkmar High School
Third TeamAmirTaylorJuniorGrayson High School
Third TeamConnorTeasleyJuniorPeachtree Ridge High School
Third TeamJacobWilkinsJuniorGrayson High SchoolGeorgia
Honorable MentionLukeFlynnSeniorWalton High SchoolWofford
Honorable MentionEricChatfieldJuniorPace Academy
Honorable MentionMontezReddingSeniorJonesboro High SchoolArkansas State (FB)
Honorable MentionKyleGreeneSeniorPace AcademyCentral Florida
Honorable MentionRickyMcKenzieSeniorWheeler High SchoolKennesaw State
Honorable MentionBrandonPetersSeniorWoodward Academy
Honorable MentionCannonRichardsSeniorKell High School
Honorable MentionCassiusWatkinsSeniorMaynard Jackson High School
Honorable MentionJosiahLawsonSeniorTucker High School
Honorable MentionBrentisSchaefferSeniorLangston Hughes High School
Honorable MentionCJHylandSeniorGrayson High SchoolWestern Carolina
Honorable MentionElijahLewisSeniorGreenforest Academy
Honorable MentionKiwaneGarris Jr.JuniorMount Vernon High School
Honorable MentionWillMooreSeniorWest Forsyth High SchoolMarshall
Honorable MentionFe'RoyreHighSeniorCampbell High School