Gate City senior Luke Ervin may be one of the most decorated Southwest Virginia basketball players in recent memory.
After a stellar season in which he helped the Blue Devils earn the Clinch Mountain District crown, the Region D title and a runner-up finish in the VHSL Group A, Division 2 state championship, Ervin started racking up individual awards.
Ervin was named the player of the year by the coaches from the Clinch Mountain District and from Region D as well as the Virginia High School Coaches Association.
Ervin can now add to the list Times-News Southwest Virginia player of the year.
“Luke has worked hard and deserves all the accolades,” said Gate City coach Scott Vermillion. “His character is solid and his work ethic outstanding. He is the type of player that you can build your program around.”
On the court, Ervin — a deadly 3-point shooter who hit 37 percent of his shots from beyond the arc — averaged 18.5 points per game this past season. He finished his career with 1,330 points.
A fearless shooter, time and again this past season, Ervin hit a 3-pointer at just the right moment in a game. It always seemed to be a momentum changer for the Blue Devils.
And he was a true leader on the floor.
Directing Gate City’s patented full-court pressure defense, Ervin always seemed to have his teammates positioned in just the right place to frustrate opponents and make timely steals.
“You knew exactly what you were getting with Luke,” Vermillion said. “What he did spilled off onto the other players this year and they became what he was.
“I think that is a wonderful reflection of his leadership. Luke handled himself and expressed himself so well.
“The way he carried himself is something that young players can learn from,” the coach added.
Vermillion fully expects Ervin to have an outstanding college career.
“First and foremost, Luke is a good student,” Vermillion said. “He’s a player for sure, but he’s also a good person.”
Vermillion’s lasting impression of Luke Ervin?
“He was solid in everything that he did,” he said. “A top-shelf kid. And you can’t have enough of those kids in your program.”