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Trueheart, Foster named state Players of the Year in basketball

Everyone in Western New York knows Canisius’ Stafford Trueheart and Middle Early College’s Gary Foster are special talents. Those around the state have taken notice, too.

The two All-Western New York first-team selections were named Players of the Year in their respective class by the New York State Sports Writers Association.

Trueheart earned Class A co-Player of the Year, sharing the honor with Albany Academy junior Hameir Wright. The 6-foot-7 Trueheart helped the Crusaders win a second straight state Catholic championship and second straight Manhattan Cup. Trueheart, a two-time All-WNY first team pick, averaged 20.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks per contest in leading Canisius to a program-record 26 wins.

Foster captured Class C Player of the Year honors to cap a season in which he earned state tournament MVP honors for leading the Kats (20-7) to their first state title since 2010. The 6-6 Foster averaged a double-double for the season (19.5 ppg, 15 rpg, 4.2 blocks) and put on a show during the state final four in Glens Falls.

A total of 57 players from Western New York earned spots on the five all-state teams. First team selections included: Class A, Dominick Welch (Cheektowaga); Class B, Elijah Ramadhan (Olean) and Takal Molson (St. Mary’s); Class C, JoJo Staton (Middle Early College); Class D, Elliot Bowen (Ellicottville).

All-state list on Page D8.