Over the course of his high school career, there’s been no doubt to anyone in West Virginia that Fairmont Senior point guard Darhius Nunn was a special player.
Entering his senior season with the Polar Bears, Nunn played a major role on Fairmont Senior teams that reached two state championship games, but came up short both times.
In 2015-16, Nunn not only made it back to the Class AA title game, he won it with an effort over the course of three games that showed the true determination and skill of a leader who was not willing to lose.
As he caps his outstanding career at Fairmont Senior High School with a championship, he will do so with the distinction as Class AA All-State first team captain.
During the regular season, Nunn led FSHS to a 20-5 record with 15.9 points per game on 50.8 percent shooting to go along with 5.4 assists per game and 2.8 steals per game.
In the Class AA tournament, Nunn turned up the heat scoring a tournament-high 54 points over three games while also leading the tournament in assists, steals and minutes played.
Nunn led his team all year and made everyone around him better, doing so by displaying the true characteristics of a leader.
“A leader leads by example,” Nunn said. “He encourages teammates, and when people aren’t doing the right thing, he has the courage to stand up to them and tell them what’s wrong.
“The biggest thing is having them listen to you.”
Getting the rest of the Polar Bears to listen to him this season was never an issue as the entire squad, all the way up to the head coach, listened and trusted what the senior wearing No. 2 had to say all year.
“We won this championship because of the leadership he displayed,” FSHS coach David Retton said. “I’ve been doing this for 19 years at Fairmont Senior … I’ve never let players call plays, ever. I let him call plays. That’s the kind of trust I have in him.”
The trust that Retton has in him, and his teammates’ ability to knock down shots when Nunn sets them up, all led to a team rising from contender to champion.
“It makes you more free as a player,” Nunn said of the trust the whole organization has in him. “You don’t have as many restrictions on you so you can play free.”
Now, as he ends his high school career and moves on to play collegiately at Glenville State, he will do so as a champion, something his coach and community are proud of.
“Am I surprised in what he accomplished down (in the state tournament)?” Retton asked after the Polar Bears won the championship. “No. I’m not surprised in the least.”
Joining Nunn on the Class AA All-State first team are Poca’s Elijah Cuffee and Luke Frampton who led the Dots to a 25-4 record and the state championship game averaging 21.3 and 18.3 points per game, respectively, during the regular season.
Robert C. Byrd senior Luke Dyer averaged 18.2 points per game in 2015-16, eclipsed 1,000 points for his career in the process and earned first-team All-State status.
Also from the Big 10, Bridgeport’s Nick Greely has earned a spot on the first team as well. The 6-foot-6 senior averaged 21.4 points per game during the regular season for an Indians squad that went 23-3 this season, losing to Fairmont Senior in the state semifinals.
Wyoming East 6-foot-6 senior David Carte led the Warriors to a 20-5 record this regular season where they fell in the state semifinals to Poca. Carte averaged a team-high 18 points during the 2015-16 regular season and was named to the Class AA first team.
From Ravenswood, junior Riley Heatherington’s 18.1 regular-season points per game helped the Red Devils achieve a 17-9 record, reach the state tournament and earn him a spot on the Class AA first team.
Rounding out the Class AA All-State first team is Chapmanville sophomore guard Drew Williamson who averaged 19.6 points per game during the regular season and led the Tigers to a No. 8 seed in the state tournament.
Webster County senior Robbie Cogar captains the Class AA second team and is joined by Bluefield’s Latrell Collier and Jeremy Thompson, Grafton’s Zach Musgrove, Wayne’s Colby Wickline, PikeView’s Seth Meadows, Frankfort’s Jacob Young and Summers County’s Matt Ryan.
Scott senior Tanner Bell has been selected as Class AA All-State third-team captain and is joined by Independence’s Tyler Haga, Weir’s Jonathan West, Westside’s Larry Cook, Ravenswood’s Isaiah Morgan, Herbert Hoover’s Matthew Justice, Sissonville’s Chance Brown and Poca’s Kaden Meeks.
Class AA All-State Team
The Class AA All-State Boys Basketball Team, as selected by members of the West Virginia Sports Writers Association:
Luke Frampton, Poca, Jr.
Elijah Cuffee, Poca, Jr.
Luke Dyer, Robert C. Byrd, Sr.
Darhius Nunn, Fairmont Senior, Sr. (capt.)
Nick Greely, Bridgeport, Sr.
David Carte, Wyoming East, Sr.
Riley Heatherington, Ravenswood, Jr.
Drew Williamson, Chapmanville, So.
Robbie Cogar, Webster County, Sr.
Latrell Collier, Bluefield, So.
Jeremy Thompson, Bluefield, Sr. (capt.)
Zach Musgrove, Grafton, Sr.
Colby Wickline, Wayne, Sr.
Seth Meadows, Pikeview, Jr.
Jacob Young, Frankfort, Sr.
Matt Ryan, Summers County, Sr.
Tyler Haga, Independence, Jr.
Jonathan West, Weir, Sr.
Tanner Bell, Scott, Sr. (capt.)
Larry Cook, Westside, Sr.
Isaiah Morgan, Ravenswood, Jr.
Matthew Justice, Herbert Hoover, Sr.
Chance Brown, Sissonville, Jr.
Kaden Meeks, Poca, Sr.
Tyree Baker, River View; Logan Blankenship, Wyoming East; Dante Bonamico, Bridgeport; Seth Bowlin, Sissonville; Ellis Bryson, Mount View; Brady Compton, Berkeley Springs; Dylan Dickens, Liberty Raleigh; Zyon Dobbs, Fairmont Senior; De’Moni Edwards, Mount View; Corey Farley, Ritchie County; Noah Fiecht, Oak Glen; R.J. Foldon, Wyoming East; Dalton Gray, Webster County; Kaleb Greathouse, Roane County; Jacob Grose, Nicholas County; Markus Guy, Independence; Hunter Haddix, Bridgeport; Hunter Hill, PikeView; Spencer Hudkins, Philip Barbour; Logan Jarrett, Ravenswood; Shane Jenkins, Westside; Donald Kummer, Bridgeport; Justin Lee, Fairmont Senior; Seth Leedom, Frankfort; Julian Marino, Robert C. Byrd; Chris Mills, Independence; Brennan Moorhead, Fairmont Senior; Austin Newlon, Grafton; Micah Parrish, North Marion; Andrew Richmond, Summers County; Jace Shanholtz, Petersburg; Jonathan Sims, Wyoming East; Maverick Skinner, Lincoln; Andrew Slusser, East Fairmont; Dylan Smith, Chapmanville; Johnny Spadafore, Lincoln; Frankie Spadafore, Lincoln; Dante Speas, Robert C. Byrd; Caleb Spencer, James Monroe; Tayton Stout, Braxton County; Bryce Taylor, Sissonville; Dacota Thomas, Summers County; Patrick Underwood, Scott; Austin Upton, Philip Barbour; Ryan VanMeter, Petersburg; Dalton Westfall, Liberty Harrison; Cam White, Keyser; Jordan Whitt, Chapmanville; Travis Williams, Webster County; Noah Wimbish, Liberty Raleigh