Sewell led Trinity (17-2) to the "Trinity Trifecta" by winning Kentucky's three most prestigious tournaments in one year: The 2009 Canfield Development King of the Bluegrass, 2009 Republic Bank Holiday Classic, and 2010 Coca-Cola/Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament (LIT).
To use a horseracing term familiar to Kentuckians, Trinity won the high school basketball version of the "Triple Crown." Trinity became the only school in history to claim all three titles in the same season.
Trinity is now ranked #1 in Kentucky and #10 in the nation by HoopsUSA.com.
In winning the LIT last week at Bellarmine University's Knights Hall, Trinity defeated both then #1 ranked Ballard in the semifinals (avenging one of the two losses) and then later the same day beat then #4 ranked Eastern in the Championship game.
SEWELL FIRST TO WIN MVP OF ALL THREE EVENTS
Sewell became the first player to be named MVP of all three of these elite events. When asked about this unique accomplishment, Sewell was grateful to his teammates and coaches saying, "It is a great feeling. Every individual on my team was productive both on offense and defense. When we take it one game at a time we will be fine."
The only other player to be named MVP of both the King of the Bluegrass and the Holiday Classic was Chris Lofton in 2002. Lofton won the state's Mr. Basketball award in 2004 and went on to become a two time All-American and the 2007 SEC player of the year while at Tennessee. Sewell said, "To be mentioned in the same sentence (with Lofton) is just an honor."
Although Sewell is thrilled to have won the three MVP awards, he would trade them all in for another MVP award. He stated, "My next goal is to be named MVP of the state tourney." An award the usually only goes to a player on the state championship team.
HAVING A STRONG SEASON
Unless he gets injured, Sewell will finish as Trinity's all-time leading scorer. He currently has 1,268 points going into tonight's game against Louisville St. Xavier at Freedom Hall. Sewell needs just 50 points to break the record of 1,317 points held by Lee Morrison.
On the season, Sewell has been averaging 20 points, 3 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game. He is shooting over 46% from the field, 33% from behind the arc, and 80% from the free throw line.
Sewell says he is actually a better shooter than what his numbers show. Due to a thumb injury he has been battling all year, Sewell's outside shot has suffered. However, his shooting is improving. Sewell explained, "My shot has gotten better. I had 4 threes in the first quarter of our last game. I am getting my shots off quicker too."
2010 KENTUCKY MR. BASKETBALL?
The unprecedented three MVP awards, the three titles, Trinity's #1 ranking, and his offensive numbers have put Sewell as the current favorite to be voted as Kentucky's Mr. Basketball.
Winning the award would be significant to more than just him. He explained, "Winning the award would mean a lot to me, my family, the ( Trinity) basketball program, and the city of Louisville (which rarely has a player that wins the award)." Specifically as to his family, Sewell said he wants to win the award for his aunt and mother. "My aunt died last year. When I step on the court, I say a prayer to her. Also, winning the award would make my mom the happiest person in the world."
Greatness runs in Sewell's family. His cousin is former University of Louisville basketball star Wesley Cox. Cox was a NBA first round draft pick in 1977.
Sewell says he does not dwell on what the Mr. Basketball voters will do. "I hardly ever think about it. I just do my job every night. I have put in the hard work and dedication. I think I deserve it. I think I am the best player in the state. "
SEWELL IS WORKING TO BE A FUTURE REDHAWK STAR
Although he is focused on winning the Kentucky state title, he has thought about what he needs to work on to contribute to the RedHawk's quest for a MAC title next year.
"I am getting better at everything. I am becoming more of a leader and working on my defense. I take a lot of breaks on defense. (Miami Head Coach Charlie Coles) is a defensive guy. I want to do what I can to contribute next year. I (now) take pride in my defense."
Sewell is shooting for winning the MAC freshman of the year award. Last summer after his commitment to Miami, Sewell said he wanted to do some damage in the MAC. Sewell stated, "I can be a star in the MAC if I keep working hard."
Sewell's hunger to succeed is based on being underestimated in the past. He explained, "I was in a lot of player's shadows for most of my high school career until I reached the AAU circuit."
Sewell committed to Miami last June. Sewell told RedHawk Insider then why he chose Miami:
"It is a place I can see myself on and off the court. It is one of the best schools in the Midwest. Miami has great academics with the business marketing degree."
Academics had always been Sewell's number one priority in choosing a college. Sewell was impressed with the work being done on Miami's Richard T. Farmer School of Business building. Sewell stated, "It was nice to look at the (business school) remodeling because I plan on attending the business marketing program. It is nice to see they will have a 20 million dollar facility when I get there. I heard (the business program) is top 5 in the country so it pretty nice."
Sewell previously said he made a statement going to Miami. Sewell explained, "I do not come from the nicest of neighborhoods. I want to make something of myself. Not many people from here can say they have a good degree from a prestigious school like Miami."
Miami made Sewell a priority recruiting target years ago. Sewell said, "Most schools know what they want. Miami had been on me since I was a sophomore." Sewell later added, "Miami made me a priority since day one. They made me feel wanted and my mom felt that way too. No other school except Akron made me feel that wanted."
Josh Sewell describes his style of play as "in and out." He is dominant with his mid-range game and has a scorer's mentality. Sewell says he is more of a shooting guard than a small forward and has a scorer's mentality.
Other schools that recruited Sewell include Ohio, Wright State, Butler, Akron, Miami-FLA, Middle Tennessee State, Dayton, Stanford, Penn State, Bradley, Marshall, Eastern Kentucky, Murray State, and Western Kentucky.
He had firm offers from Miami-OH, WKU, Wright State, Ohio, Akron, Middle Tennessee State, Bradley, Marshall, Eastern Kentucky, VCU, Miami-FL, and Murray State.
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