With 8 games left, Mr. Basketball prospect Tavieon Hollingsworth has busted the Dunbar Career Scoring record wide open. Hollingsworth now wears the crown – suprassing Dunbar great Darnell Burton, who had scored an impressive 2,192 points. Dunbar’s record is now 2,201 and counting — with Hollingsworth averaging 26.6 points per game, it’s sure to grow.
I had the pleasure of talking to several people about Tavieon yesterday evening. I had to know more… His numbers speak volumes, however, his character seems to be the deciding factor in his greatness.
What kind of teammate is Tavieon? Dunbar teammate Dontell Brown says “Tavieon is the best player I have EVER played with. He’s a team leader and smart on and off the court. He never complains. We have played together since 7th grade and just watching him grow as a player has been amazing. He’s a funny guy but when it’s time to get serious, he’s all business. I’ve never met a kid that hates losing as much as him – I love him to death.” And isn’t the only one to feel this way – I asked AAU Teammate and Johnson Central the same question. Nothing but good words from Blair, “Tay is a guy that any coach or player would want to have on their team. He has that killer instinct to be a stud on the basketball court. He thrives in big games. He is the type of player that can just go get a bucket when your team needs one. He is a great teammate, unselfish, and makes everyone around him better.” Those are strong sentiments from two stellar athletes with their own accolades.
What’s special about Tavieon? I asked the coaching staff at Dunbar: Head Coach Scott Chalk, arguably one of the state’s best basketball minds says “I knew he was special the first time I saw him play as a freshman-to-be. Breaking this record is a great accomplishment but it doesn’t surprise me.”Chiming in, Assistant Coach Jonathan Moore added, “As good of a basketball player as he is, he is an even better person. He deserves everything he’s gotten and then some. He should easily be Mr. Basketball with all he has accomplished over 4 years and the level of competition he’s played against.”
Tavieon says he isn’t finished yet. His next goal is the Lexington/Fayette County scoring record held by Mike Allen. He’s only 207 points away with 8 regular season games left. Can he do it? Absolutely yes. And if you ask him who he attributes his success to, it’s certainly not himself. I asked if there was anyone he’d like to thank and he apologized for it being such a long list – but he said “I want to thank God for all the opportunities I have been given, my middle school coach Eddie Johnson who laid the foundation for my success, he’s the coach that never left my side in good/bad. I owe a lot to my current coaches and my teammates, without them I wouldn’t be close to where I am today. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They got me through this process, they care and show so much love, they never let it be enough because they know I still need to and can improve. I’d like to thank my AAU Coach Jonathan Adkins, he’s the best AAU coach you could ask for. I owe both my parents Kathy Sweatt and Maurice Hollingsworth, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here – and they both even coach me sometimes! My dad studies everything I do and tells me how to improve for the next level, and my mom definitely keeps me hitting my free throws with the mean look she gives me when I miss! And lastly I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me through all my years at Dunbar. I love y’all and the season isn’t over yet!”
It’s clear that Hollingsworth is something special. He presents raw talent, a high basketball IQ, and an unselfishness that great athletes often fall short on. He’s committed to Western Kentucky University and in my mind, they’ve found a real gem. If you want to follow Tay on the remainder of his high school journey go catch a game. Dunbar plays Waggener at Taylor County on Saturday at the Clem Haskins Classic, 4:30PM. The rest of their schedule can be found on the KHSAA Scoreboard. Be on the watch, there are other scoring records he’s sure to top… and just may be crowned Kentucky Mr. Basketball.
Kayla Moore VanHoose
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