The Louisiana Sports Writers Association

The LSWA

Louisiana Mr. Basketball 2020

By ROBIN FAMBROUGH

Written for the LSWA

For Reece Beekman, every possession and each basketball game are a means to an end. The Scotlandville High senior is at his best when he is in the middle of the action.

Becoming the center of attention is icing on the cake for Beekman, along with the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance/LSWA Mr. Basketball award.

“I like having the ball in my hands,” Beekman said. “Since I was little, I’ve played pretty much the same way. I handle the ball and when the defense comes to me, I know somebody else is open, so I get the ball open.”

Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample could use many words to describe the 6-foot-3 Virginia signee. The one he chooses is facilitator.

“Reece has always been a pass-first guy … a true facilitator,” Sample said. “Guys like that don’t always wind up being the center of attention. People usually see the guy who scores the most first.

“He is at his best when he gets the ball in the open floor. He reads defenses well and his teammates know to be ready because he will get the ball to them when they have an open shot.

“Reece also knows when to take it and score himself. He has a special feel for the game.”

Beekman’s feel for the game was never more evident than this season, leading the Hornets to a 35-3 record, a fourth straight Division I title and a No. 12 national ranking. He averaged 19.4 points, 9.9 assists, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 blocked shots and 2.2 steals a game.

Work with a personal trainer in the offseason added explosiveness to the gifts Beekman already had – including the wing span of a player 6-7.  Even though he remained the aggressive catalyst, big numbers came in bunches for Beekman.

They included:

  • 40 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and five blocks vs. Live Oak.
  • 29 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists vs. Masters Academy in the Montverde tournament.
  • 19 points, 14 assists and six rebounds vs. 5A semifinalist and District 4-5A rival Walker.
  • 19 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds vs. Alabama power Sidney Lanier.

“I’ve seen Reece Beekman since he was an eighth-grader, the Milwaukee kid who come to Scotlandville Middle,” Madison Prep coach Jeff Jones said.

“The high basketball IQ, the ability to find the open man and to hand off the ball has always been there. Two things were different this year – his defense and his athleticism.

“He locked down whoever he guarded. He was stronger and faster. He exploded when he drove to the basket and he would go over the defense to dunk. I saw him dunk more times this year than I did the previous three years.”

Ask Beekman about the upgrades to his game and he settles on one word – consistency.

“I wanted to get stronger and faster,” Beekman said. “Being more consistent with everything I do and especially with my shot was what I worked on.”

The death of his older brother, 22-year-old Washington State safety Bryce Beekman last month, has galvanized his resolve to excel.

“He was everything to us … our glue,” Beekman said. “What I do from now on is for him.”




LA Farm Bureau/ Mr. Basketball award winners 

1996: Lester Earl, Glen Oaks 
1997: Marcus Fizer, Arcadia 
1998: Stromile Swift, Fair Park-Shreveport 
1999: Bernard King, Gibsland-Coleman 
2000: Chris Duhon, Salmen 
2001: Donald Perry, McCall-Tallulah 
2002: Darrel Mitchell Jr., St. Martinville 
2003: Paul Millsap, Grambling Lab 
2004: Glen Davis, University 
2005: Tasmin Mitchell, Denham Springs 
2006: Demond Carter, Reserve Christian 
2007: Greg Monroe, Helen Cox 
2008: Greg Monroe, Helen Cox 
2009: Joevoskie Mitchell, Zwolle
2010: Markel Brown, Peabody
2011: Ricardo Gathers, Riverside Academy
2012: Dee Wagner, Peabody
2013: Jarell Martin, Madison Prep
2014: Reginal Johnson Jr., Richwood 
2015: Brandon Sampson, Madison Prep
2016: Ja'Vonte Smart, Scotlandville
2017: Ja'Vonte Smart, Scotlandville
2018: Ja'Vonte Smart, Scotlandville
2019: Jalen Cook, Walker
2020: Reece Beekman, Scotlandville