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  My Site News: Simmons Wins Jim Thorpe Scholar-Athlete Award  

Thursday, April 4
Simmons Wins Jim Thorpe Scholar-Athlete Award
The article, which appeared in today's DAILY OKLAHOMAN, reads as follows:

"Jake Grinnell of Shawnee and Zack Simmons of Washington are winners of The Oklahoman/Jim Thorpe boys basketball scholar-athlete awards, which go to top graduating senior players in the city area.
Both players will receive $1,000 scholarships and commemorative plaques from The Oklahoman and Jim Thorpe Association during the all-star awards banquet May 28 in Oklahoma City.
Simmons helped Washington reach the Class 2A semifinals and is the Little All-City recipient from Class 4A and below.
Simmons is 6-foot-7 and 180 pounds and was one of the top shot blockers in the area. Washington was eliminated by Yale in the state semifinals 53-38, despite Simmons' ten blocked shots, 13 points and 15 rebounds.
"He changed the game by 20 points with his presence," said Yale coach David Page. "We usually score around 74 points a game but couldn't because of Zack Simmons."
Simmons is a second-team Little All-City basketball selection after making the third team as a junior.
Simmons is uncertain where he will be playing basketball next season but is leaning toward Wichita State.
"I took a visit up there and really liked their fans," Simmons said. "They told me I needed to start lifting weights so I could put on some weight. They want me to be able to push people around."
Southwest Missouri State is also recruiting Simmons, and he is considering some in-state junior colleges. He played for the Oklahoma Rams the past two summers.
"Playing AAU ball was a really good experience and helped me a lot," Simmons said. "We went to some big out-of-state tournaments."
Simmons had a 4.0 grade point average at Washington and 27 ACT score. He is co- valedictorian of the senior class and was selected from a field of 22 candidates.
"I didn't start playing basketball until the seventh grade," Simmons said. "I only played baseball before then. Washington is a real big football town."
4.0 GPA, 27 ACT, co-valedictorian, superintendent's honor roll four years, National Honor Society vice-president, math club president, two- time all-district, Class 2A state all-tournament team as Washington reached semifinals, coaches all-state, strong inside player who had 160 blocks (6.2 blocks per game) and averaged 13.5 rebounds a game while shooting 63.4 percent from the field, being recruited by Wichita State.

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