Winning four games in a row presents a challenge all its own. There comes an added difficulty in having to do so in three days.
Largely due to Jakai Newton, the Newton Rams won the 2022 AllState Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic in Louisiana a few weeks ago.
In the tournament, Newton averaged nearly 20 points per game which included a 25-point, seven-rebound performance in the championship game on Jan. 8.
Newton’s performances earned him the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, too.
For Newton, it was a special honor.
“It was a good feeling,” Newton said. “I worked hard for it and had to just come out there and play my game.”
Newton is one of three juniors on this year’s Rams team who is committed to a Division I college. He committed to the University of Indiana on Oct. 22, 2021, to further his basketball career.
His contributions have helped lead the Rams to a 14-3 record and being No. 1 in Class 7A rankings.
Head coach Charlemagne Gibbons recognized how important Newton’s play has been to the Rams’ success this season.
“He’s been playing great basketball all season long,” Gibbons said. “And he understands that our teams need him to be aggressive. And I think his aggressiveness [in the tournament] showed people what kind of player he can be.”