Cleveland Blue Raiders' senior guard JaCobi Wood has been named as a finalist for Tennessee Mr. Basketball, one of the awards presented to the top boys' and girls' athletes by the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletics Association.
The awards will be presented in five classifications at Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University on March 10, at 8 p.m. EST.
Joining Wood as Class AAA finalists for the 36th Mr. Basketball Award are Joe Anderson of Maryville High School, and Will Pruitt of Mt. Juliet.
While playing for the Blue Raiders, the 6-2 point guard has averaged 27.2 points per game with five assists, 5.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals. Wood averages 83% from the free-throw line and has hit 36% from behind the 3-point arc. He leads the Raiders in scoring, assists, steals and deflections, 2-point percentage and 3-point percentage.
Wood has been a three-year starter for the Raiders and is a two-time team captain. He has been named to the all-district and all region teams twice, earned region Most Valuable Player honors and a member of the All-State team. He has been chosen for Best of Preps and received the Check Into Cash Player of the Week Award twice. Off the court, Wood gives back as a Community Service Leader.
“I'm not shocked at all that JaCobi is a Mr. Basketball finalist. I'm so excited and proud to see him accomplish another goal that he has set for himself," praised Blue Raiders head coach Reggie Tucker. "All the 6 a.m. workouts, the late night grind sessions and all the text messages of 'Hey Coach can we get in the gym today?' has been great to be a part of. I'm truly thankful and grateful to teach, lead, coach and mentor such a great student-athlete. He's everything our basketball program stands for and this honor is well deserved.”
Twice this season Wood has scored 50 points and broke his own single-game scoring record with 53 against Cookeville — an all-time CHS record. During his career as a Blue Raider, Wood has piled in 1,690 points to date. He stands in third place among all-time scoring leaders, passing McDonald's All-American and former Mr. Basketball winner Vincent Yarbrough. He has led the Raiders to their best start since the 1968-69 season with a current record of 27 wins and no losses, and a No. 1 state ranking for the first time in school history.
Before signing with Belmont, Wood held a dozen mid-major D-I offers with interest from Virginia Tech, Missouri, Vanderbilt, UCF, Penn State, Ole Miss, Michigan and Texas A&M.
“JaCobi Wood is a tremendous student-athlete who represents Cleveland High School with class and character. He serves as a role model for so many within our community and his influence reaches far beyond the basketball court and locker room," said CHS athletics director David Turner." His family is extremely supportive of our team and coaches and have taught him excellent values and character by example."
Wood, Anderson and Pruitt join 27 other girls' and boys' nominees from Division II-A and AA as well as A, AA and AAA. Locally, Madison Hayes, of East Hamilton High School, is a girls' AAA finalist for Miss Basketball.
Nominees for Mr. and Miss Basketball finalists were selected by head basketball coaches. A statewide committee of sportswriters selected winners based on performances during the 2019-20 regular season. The award also considers the character and academics of the selected athletes.
2019-20 Mr. and Miss Basketball nominees
Division II-A Miss Basketball Finalists
Melaina Bone, Silverdale
Macey Lee, Trinity Christian
Carrington Washburn, CPA
Division II-AA Miss Basketball Finalists
Raegyn Conley, Baylor
Dontavia Waggoner, Ensworth
Kaiya Wynn, Ensworth
Class A Miss Basketball Finalists
Tess Darby, Greenfield
Chloe Moore-McNeil, Greenfield
Karly Weathers, Loretto
Class AA Miss Basketball Finalists
Keeley Carter, Macon County
Reagan Hurst, Upperman
Khyla Wade-Warren, McNairy Central
Class AAA Miss Basketball Finalists
Denae Fritz, Maryville
Alasia Hayes, Riverdale
Madison Hayes, East Hamilton
Division II-A Mr. Basketball Finalists
Alex Anderson, Tipton-Rosemark
Moussa Cisse, Lausanne
Dante Harris, Lakeway Christian
Division II-AA Mr. Basketball Finalists
Kennedy Chandler, Briarcrest
B.J. Edwards, Knoxville Catholic
Chaz Lanier, Ensworth
Class A Mr. Basketball Finalists
Lucas King, McKenzie
Dalton Marsh, Red Boiling Springs
Ryley McClaran, Eagleville
Class AA Mr. Basketball Finalists
Edward Lacey, Fulton
Johnathan Lawson, Wooddale
Tyrone Marshall, Pearl Cohn
Class AAA Mr. Basketball Finalists
JaCobi Wood, Cleveland
Joe Anderson, Maryville
Will Pruitt, Mt. Juliet.