Fitch's basketball team suffered through a subpar season in 2012-2013 finishing below .500 and losing in the second round of the Division I state tournament.
One standout during that entire less-than-stellar season for the Falcons was junior point guard Jesse Driver. Driver was both the team leader in scoring and acted as a team leader on and off the floor. A lot of Driver's heroics were done while he was battling nagging injuries. A healthy Driver this winter should enable Fitch to bounce back from its underwhelming finish to this campaign. What Driver and some of his varsity teammates did recently, however, went a long way in wiping out any bad taste the Falcons had left in their mouths from this year.
Driver led his team to a 34-4 record and a championship at the Eastern Ohio Basketball Team Camp played last week in Sherrodsville, Ohio. On their way to the title, the Falcons beat various varsity units from across all state division ranks. In the semifinals, the Falcons beat up Division III powerhouse Liberty Benton to advance to the championship. Leading the Falcons was Driver, who impressed rival coaches so much with his overall play that he was one of three players selected to take part in the upcoming Adidas 64 Tournament in Las Vegas. That prestigious all-star showcase takes place July 23-27.
"This was good for Jesse and good for our program," said Fitch head coach Brian Beany, who took about 10 of his varsity players to the camp. "This shows that our program is going in the right direction. It was a great ending for Jesse and our team as well."
The famous Huggins basketball family of Ohio runs this Eastern Ohio Camp. Primarily, former Ohio State cager Larry Huggins is in charge of the camp and is aided by some of his family members. His brother, Bob, is the head basketball coach at West Virginia University, but could not appear at the camp due to NCAA restrictions. Participating coaches have called the EOBC the most challenging three days of the summer and a cornerstone for high school basketball programs. The camp is broken into three days and after each session all of the coaches gather to pick the best three players. After the June 18 session, the group of bench bosses picked three point guards, but Driver was certainly number one on all of their lists.
"(Jesse) was the best point guard at the camp," explained Beany. "He did a great job getting the coach's votes. The other coaches liked his quickness, ability to handle the ball and ability to get to the hoop. They liked his rebounding too."
Being one of the top three in a camp that featured 36 different teams is certainly an accomplishment. Standing out from his peers is nothing new to Driver though who has been wowing Falcon Nation for three years. Now, because of his amazing skills, this senior-to-be star will get to shine bright amongst the neon of Las Vegas.