Best Local Boy Gone Good (2011)

Brandon Knight

At Pine Crest, Brandon Knight was one of the most celebrated high school players ever, with two state titles and two Gatorade National Player of the Year awards. But when he chose to attend the winningest college basketball team in the country, nobody could be sure how he would handle the transition. Sure, he had a sweet and simple jump shot and more ways to score than Heinz had ketchup recipes. But sometimes it takes a while to adjust. Not for Knight. He started strong and finished with a magnificent run through March Madness, leading a team as a rookie to the Final Four. His clutch shot to beat the top team in the land, Ohio State, is one for the ages — and it was a heck of a national coming-out party. How could a freshman do this? Well, Knight wasn't a freshman; he was technically a sophomore. Not in basketball but in academics. You see, when Knight is on the bus, his head isn't buried in videogames but in books. He's a scholar — and a prodigy.

More People & Places Awards


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >