Mckinney Courier-gazette > Sports
Vilarino, Princeton trio earn All-State honors
McKinney’s G.J. Vilarino was the only junior selected on the 4A All-State basketball team.
By Travis Summers, McKinney Courier-Gazette
The list of accolades and awards McKinney junior G.J. Vilarino has collected for his basketball skills is long and impressive.
But early Thursday morning, Vilarino was informed that he had been awarded his greatest individual accomplishment with a spot on the 2007-08 4A All-State team from the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
“I was getting ready for school Thursday morning and my dad called me downstairs,” Vilarino said. “He told me that I was on the All-State team and I got really excited.”
Vilarino joined sophomores T.J. Taylor of Denison and DeCarlos Frank of Beaumont Ozen as the three non-seniors on the 4A list. He was the only junior selected.
“I think when you talk about the best juniors in the state, it’s a short list and he’s on it,” McKinney head coach Wes Watson said.
Vilarino averaged before losing to Mount Pleasant in an Area Round playoff game this season.
Vilarino had picked up 4A All-Region II honors earlier this month and thought he had a decent chance at earning a spot on the all-state team after averaging more than 18 points and four assists per game to lead the Lions to an undefeated finish in 9-4A this season. He had worried that McKinney upset loss in the area round to Mount Pleasant might hurt his chances, but those suspicions were erased with Thursday’s announcement.
“I realize the importance of being named All-State,” Vilarino said. “It rewards all the hard work that my teammates and I put in during the offseason. This is just as big honor for my teammates as it is for me, because there’s no way I would be All-State if they hadn’t worked hard.”
With eight months between now and the start of his senior season, Vilarino says this offseason will be critical to erasing the memories this year’s postseason and to justify this week’s All-State award.
“I know I’ve got to get on some of my teammates because I want to go farther in the playoffs,” Vilarino said. “I also want to get some of them on next year’s list as well.”
Along with Vilarino, Princeton had three hardwood standouts selected to the TABC’s All-State Team.
Senior Chase Spruiell and junior James Erger were selected to the 3A boys’ All-State team during the Panthers run to the regional quarterfinal this season.
Princeton senior Whitney Coffey was also tabbed for the 3A girls’ All-State team.