St. Frances boys basketball standout Derik Queen, who led the Panthers to an undefeated regular season and the Baltimore Catholic League championship game, was named MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year.
The 6-foot-8 forward was a dominant presence from the start for the Panthers, who rolled through the condensed regular season with a 12-0 mark and finished 15-1 after falling to John Carroll in the BCL title game.
Queen, 16, brought a versatile inside-outside game at both ends of the court, averaging 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots per game. On March 12, he scored a career-high 56 points in the Panthers’ 99-55 win over Annapolis Area Christian School.
MaxPreps started selecting a National Freshman of the Year in 2010, with former Patterson sensation Aquille Carr the first to be honored. Among the others to receive the award are Marvin Bagley III in 2015 and LaMelo Ball in 2016, two current NBA players. Queen is excited to be part of the company.
“It’s a blessing and I felt proud and felt I really deserved it,” he said.
Despite having four senior teammates that are Division I commits, Queen, who maintains a “B” average in the classroom, established himself as the team’s focal point as the season grew.
St. Frances coach Nick Myles was impressed with Queen’s maturity, basketball sense and versatility. One thing, however, stood out the most.
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“Early on, what was surprising was his confidence,” Myles said. “He came in and from Day 1, even if he was or wasn’t the best player on the floor, in his mind, he was the best man on the floor and he was going to try to prove he was the best man on the floor. So just his confidence as a freshman stood out.”
Working hard and staying in the moment served Queen well in his freshman year.
“My teammates were making me better and I was just a very consistent person. I was working on things I needed to work on and I did it consistently,” he said.
MaxPreps, which announced its All-Freshmen team Friday, noted that Georgetown, LSU, Maryland and Virginia Tech have already made scholarship offers to Queen.
“Derik’s basketball intelligence is off the charts. He’s 6-8 and makes plays as a guard, a forward and a center and seems to do whatever is necessary to win games,” said Tom Strickler, a Maryland-based scout for the National Recruiting Report, a coaches-only service that evaluates high school talent.