Ohio State men’s basketball signee Devin Royal picked up a big honor on Wednesday morning when he was named Ohio Mr. Basketball by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. It was a razor-thin vote between him and the reigning Ohio Mr. Basketball (and Indiana signee) Gabe Cupps, but when the votes were counted the Pickerington Central high school star came out on top.
And he will be taking his talents to Ohio State for the 2023-24 basketball season but still has unfinished worked to do as his Central team is in the state final four for boys’ basketball and a champion will be crowned on Sunday.
This is not the first time that Royal and Cupps have locked horns with Cupps getting the better of Royal in voting last season but Royal getting the state championship as Central defeated Centerville high school, 55-48 in the state finals.
Expect these two players to be competing against one another at the next level as well.
“Once he got it (last year), I wanted to get it this year even more,” Royal said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder won the voting by a 90-87 margin with Darryn Peterson of Cuyahoga Valley Christian coming in third and Daliyn Swain of Columbus Africentric checking in at 4th.
As mentioned before, there won’t be a lot of time for celebration with a rematch between Central and Centerville slated for Saturday evening in the Division I boys’ semifinals.
“It means a lot. I’m happy, I wish I’d have gotten it last year, too, but it’s good to have it. It was one of my goals for sure,” Royal continued in his interview in the Columbus Dispatch. “I am really just focused on state right now, but this was a big goal for me. The biggest goal for me walking into this year was to win state back-to-back. I will celebrate this, though. It’s an award I think I earned for all the work I put in.”
Royal has averaged 19.6 points per game this season along with 7.6 rebounds. He is part of a four-man class for Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes that also includes Scotty Middleton, Taison Chatman and Austin Parks.
Royal is the most recent Ohio State signee/player to win Ohio Mr. Basketball since Malaki Branham won the award in 2021. Previous winners of the award that attended Ohio State include Kaleb Wesson, Marc Loving, Jared Sullinger, William Buford, Jon Diebler, Jamar Butler, Tony Stockman, Damon Stringer, Greg Simpson and Jimmy Jackson.