Posted On: 03/16/21 12:01 AM
Waukee guard Tucker DeVries Tucker DeVries 6'7" | SF Waukee | 2021 State #123 Nation IA just wrapped up a highly successful senior year, culminating in leading his team to the school’s first-ever boys basketball state championship. He can now add 2021 Iowa Mr. Basketball to his resume, as the Iowa Print Sportswriters Association bestowed the honor upon DeVries at their annual meeting on Saturday.
“Winning this award means a lot because it just shows that all the hard work has paid off and been recognized,” DeVries said.
After losing in the 4A championship game last season to Ankeny, DeVries, who averaged 18.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and shot 43.7% from behind the 3-point line, was motivated to lead Waukee to the title this year. “Going out on a state title meant everything. We felt as if we were so close the last two years, especially last season, which definitely made this year’s title feel even better when we finally broke through and won it,” he said.
On a loaded roster that also included Iowa-bound Payton Sandfort Payton Sandfort 6'7" | SF Waukee | 2021 State #138 Nation IA , top-5 national 2023 prospect Omaha Biliew Omaha Biliew 6'9" | SF Waukee | 2023 State #6 Nation IA , and top-50 national 2023 prospect Pryce Sandfort Pryce Sandfort 6'4" | SF Waukee | 2023 State #140 Nation IA , DeVries and the rest of his teammates sacrificed individual stats for the bigger goal. “Winning state was the one goal in mind, and I wouldn’t be even close to where I am without the help of my teammates and coaches. Part of what made our team so special is that we put individual accomplishments aside and all wanted to win a state title,” DeVries said.
Delivering the community their first state title in their final year as the lone high school in Waukee made it a little more special. “With this being the last year as one school, it does make it more special and cool to think that we were the last team to be one group. Going out on top was special,” DeVries said. Waukee Northwest will open in the fall.
Unlike some of the recent Mr. Basketball winners who have been big-time contributors from their freshman year onward, DeVries took a more traditional climb up the ladder. Moving from Omaha before his sophomore season, he was a solid contributor, primarily off the bench, as a sophomore, then blossomed into the state’s best player over the last two years.
“I want to be remembered for my competitiveness and my will to win. (The work) that I put in to improve from sophomore through senior year, and what it took to get to this point,” he said.
A 6-7 lead guard with limitless range, DeVries established himself as one of the best shot makers we’ve seen during our time at Prep Hoops Iowa. His versatility on both ends of the floor made him a coveted prospect, but he chose to stay home and play his college basketball at Drake, where he’ll play for his dad, Darian DeVries. He chose Drake over offers from powerhouse programs such as Florida, Creighton, Oregon, and Iowa State. Playing for his dad was certainly a major draw.
“I chose Drake because I thought it was the best option for me to succeed and enjoy my college career. I’m looking forward to being able to compete alongside my dad. We both love to compete and we have never been able to do that together, so I’m looking forward to that,” DeVries said. “I just want to help win as many conference championships and (make) as many NCAA Tournament appearances as possible. I want to be a part of the upward success that Drake is having, and be able to help take the program to the next level.”
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