The students at Johnson High School were still celebrating the Atom Smashers Boys-AAA championship they won by beating cross town rival Savannah High 61-51 in Macon.
The students and teachers were just as excited to learn that guard Tim Quarterman was chosen as the WTOC Boys Player of the Year.
Quarterman was the driving force behind the Smashers success but wanted to share the accolades. "I just want to put God first and I couldn't have done as well without my teammates, the coaching staff, my mom, my family for their support," said Quarterman. "You know, my uncle (Arthur Quarterman) was a big boost. He was the last person to take Johnson there. I just really playing on momentum and I just wanted to live up to it and I think I did it."
Quarterman averaged 20 points a game this season. But he did so much more by playing defense and setting up his teammates depending on the opposition. "From the very beginning of the year, he had the keys to the car and all the had to do was just drive it, take care of it, nurture it, keep it gassed up and it will take us anywhere we needed to go," said head coach Utaff Gordon. "I had a lot of responsibility and I felt like I was responsible for the whole team," said Quarterman. "It was just a lot on me and I'm glad they pushed me because that's what made us champions."
Coming into the season, Quarterman was already an accomplished player and had signed a national letter of intent to play at LSU next season. But, he seemed to improve his play this season, "As in being a leader like stepping up and talking in a positive way, butter my teammates up by passing the ball and getting them into plays. Just being a leader on defense. Just have to turn off the offense for a little while and just focus on defense. And in practice, getting them ready for the game and getting them focused."
Coach Gordon added, "I think the on thing he improved on the most in is discernment. In other words, his shot selection. He gambled less later in the year on defense. So, there were a couple of things that were very subtle to a trained eye that is key to his growth and development as a basketball player."
Quarterman is excited about the future, and why not as he prepares for playing in the SEC. "I just want to take my leadership into there and start off fresh and just win more championships," said Quarterman.
And he's not going to rest on his laurals. He says he will be back in the weight room next week to try to improve his strength before next season at LSU.