In North Carolina, we have some of the best, most revered athletes in the history of sports and that trend hasn’t even remotely seemed to slow down. Sure, everyone knows about guys like Michael Jordan, David Thompson, and John Lucas, but it can be easy to forget that Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, and Torry Holt are also from North Carolina. Even branching out, we see nearly a dozen baseball players in the Hall-of-Fame and arguably the best stock car racer ever in Richard Petty. Almost two years ago, Langston Wertz of the Charlotte Observer wrote an article about some of the finest multi-sport athletes in the history of North Carolina, which brings us to our main topic: Is Jefferson Boaz the best current three-sport athlete in the entire state?
Only a junior, Boaz has been one of the most unique prospects to walk through our doors over the last few years. At 6-foot-7, it’s easy to imagine his presence on the gridiron and the numbers tend to accurately support his abilities. He plays at least three different positions on the football field and has enjoyed phenomenal success at each of them. Boaz plays quarterback, receiver, and on defense, which allows him to have a nonstop impact the game. They just fell short this season, making it to the 1AA state championship game, but ultimately losing to an extremely tough Tarboro team. Regardless, Boaz is forced to maintain a short memory and move on to his goals for basketball season.
Since his season began on the hardwood, Boaz has been nothing short of incredible, posting nightly averages of 24.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block—while leading his team on both ends of the court. His numbers are nearly identical to last season, but he’s been able to improve across the board and continues showcasing an intriguing skillset. For those who haven’t been fortunate enough to see Boaz on the court, he’s arguably one of the most underrated players across the state. Though somewhat undersized for a traditional big man, Boaz protects the rim nicely and rebounds the ball extremely well against any type of competition. He’s physically strong and isn’t easily overwhelmed by opposing big men. That being said, Boaz’s skill level is simply off the charts in almost every possible way. He handles the ball and makes correct reads better than most guards, which is simply uncommon for a player of his size. Boaz can score from anywhere on the floor and does so with tremendous polish; he’s able to knock down jumpers from the perimeter (both off the catch and bounce) and possesses an exceptionally efficient presence in the high or low post. Boaz is even more problematic for opponents in transition, as he’s almost unstoppable with the ball in his hands and teammates running alongside him. We’ve raved about the walking mismatch for quite a while, but he still has a ton of attainable upside left to unlock.
Next, Boaz will begin baseball season, where he’s proven himself to be a quality pitcher for this East Surry team over the last two years. He’ll likely go from third to second in the pitching rotation and should have a major role on this team as well. There’s no doubting the unbelievable amount of natural talent this young man already possesses, but it should be very exciting to watch his recruitment open up throughout the next year. It’ll also be interesting to see how many offers he accumulates across the three sports, as Boaz has a genuine argument for the top three-sport athlete in North Carolina.