Incoming Pitt freshman William Jeffress continued to rake in accolades for his standout performance in his final season at McDowell High School on Thursday, as he was named the Varsity Cup Male Athlete of the Year.
McDowell star basketball player William Jeffress named the Varsity Cup Male Athlete of the Year! @mcdbasketball @mcdathletics @jeffcapel @williamjeffress @Pitt_MBB #VarsityCup #DontStopNow #HighSchoolSportsAwards pic.twitter.com/jZRHlQy0km— Tom Reisenweber (@ETNreisenweber) June 18, 2020
The honor was bestowed upon Jeffress during an online ceremony, and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry delivered the news that Jeffress had won the award.
Earlier this year, Jeffress finished off a three-year high school career at McDowell. Despite the fact that he graduated one year early and saw his final season cut short by the pandemic, he still managed to cement his legacy as one of the greatest players in McDowell history by scoring a record 1,673 career points.
In addition, Jeffress averaged a career-high 24.4 points per game last season and led the Trojans to the district championship game and the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals. However, the PIAA tournament was then canceled in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In addition to the Varsity Cup Male Athlete of the Year honor, Jeffress earned first-team all-state honors at the Class 6A level in Pennsylvania as well as District 10 Boys Basketball Player of the Year, an award given by the Erie Times-News. The honors cap off a high school career that saw Jeffress captain the McDowell varsity team from his freshman year onward and win a gold medal with the U.S. national team as a sophomore.
The 6’7”, 195-pound forward is a consensus four-star recruit, and after reclassifying from the 2021 class to the 2020 class, Jeffress was ranked as the No. 80 recruit in the nation and the No. 13 player at his position, according to Rivals. He chose Pitt from a top 10 that also included Baylor, Memphis, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Villanova and Virginia as finalists.
At Pitt, Jeffress will be part of Jeff Capel’s most promising recruiting class to date, as he will be joined by fellow blue-chip recruit John Hugley and fellow in-state standout Noah Collier, both of whom also won first-team all-state honors as seniors. Pitt has also bolstered its frontcourt with the addition of Max Amadasun and secured a skilled point guard in Femi Odukale, and with Jeffress leading this new generation of recruits, the program looks poised to take a major step forward.