American Press Scholar Athlete of the Year: LaGrange’s Warren is a quick study
Jeriah Warren arrived at LaGrange High with high expectations for her basketball career. She met and exceeded those, leading the Gators to consecutive Class 4A state championships, winning the Miss Basketball award which honors the state’s most outstanding player, and earning a scholarship to play at the University of Florida.
Warren also shown in the classroom, amassing a 3.9 grade point average. She is the winner of the American Press Scholar Athlete of the Year award.
Last year, Warren won the Outstanding Athlete award after leading the Gators to their first state championship and earning first-team all-state honors.
This year she was even better, leading the Gators to a 30-1 season capped with a win over Huntington in the Class 4A championship game. On the season, she averaged 18.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 6.0 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.
Warren was equally impressive in the classroom. Gators head coach La’Keem Holmes said she maintained the same focus whether in the classroom or on the court.
“Jeriah’s probably the most focused and logical thinker I’ve ever met,” he said. “When someone speaks to her she pays attention to every word and picks up very quickly to what she’s expected to do.”
Warren said she knew a strong academic background was necessary regardless of how well she performed on the court.
“I know that basketball isn’t going to always be there and that without a good academic standing I couldn’t have gotten into a top college,” she said.
While declaring math her strong suit academically, Warren said it was AP human geography teacher Leslie Gurley that had the biggest impact on her academic performance.
“She always motivated me and spoke highly of me,” Warren said. “She taught me to always work hard in the classroom and to be organized with my work.”
Warren said she always made time for school work.
“A few times I was up late working on assignments, but for the most part it was evenly balanced between school and basketball,” she said.
Warren has already enrolled at Florida and is taking a sociology class in the summer semester. She plans to study criminology.
“It’s the first time back to in-person classes (since Hurricane Laura), so it’s nice,” she said.
Warren said she cherishes the accomplishments made on the court and in the classroom at LaGrange.
“My favorite memories are winning two state championships, bonding with all my teammates and creating lifelong relationships,” she said.
American Press Scholar Athletes of the Year
Jeriah Warren, LaGrange
Ivan Appleton, St. Louis Catholic