The New Orleans Advocate All-Metro boys basketball team _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Marlin Veal at Helen Cox High School in New Orleans on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

MARLAIN VEAL, Helen Cox, Sr.

Let Marlain Veal tell it, he was born to play basketball.

“My mom says the first word out of my mouth was ‘ball’ and I could dribble before I could walk,” the Helen Cox senior point guard said.

He turned out to be pretty good at it.

The 5-foot-9 Veal is the Player of the Year on The New Orleans Advocate’s all-metro team.

It’s the latest honor for Veal, who was also named Player of the Year on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A all-state team, as well as MVP in District 8-5A.

“When the season started, I didn’t think I would get all of these awards, but my hard work made that happen,” Veal said. “I’m very thankful for all the achievements because of all the players they could have picked, they picked me.”

Veal averaged 15.3 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals and helped Cox reach the quarterfinals of the playoffs for the first time since 2008, when Greg Monroe played for the Cougars.

He has signed to play with Southeastern Louisiana.

“I just want people to remember how hard I worked and my dedication to basketball,” Veal said.

First team

Marlain Veal, Helen Cox, 5-9, Sr.

The Advocate’s Player of the Year (and LSWA 5A MVP) averaged 15.3 points, four assists and four rebounds and led Cougars to 5A quarterfinals.

Melvin Frazier, Higgins, 6-6, Sr.

Frazier averaged 17.3, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2 blocks and helped Hurricanes to a surprise run to the Class 5A semifinals.

Lamar Peters, Landry-Walker, 6-1. Jr.

Sharp-shooting guard was LSWA 4A Player of the Year after averaging 19.7 points and five assists and leading Charging Buccaneers to second straight 4A title.

Herb McGee, Riverside, 6-2, Jr.

High-rising guard was 2A Player of the Year by LSWA after averaging 18.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 3.8 steals and helping Rebels to three-peat.

Malik Crowfield, Riverside, 6-4, Jr.

Only repeat first-team selection from last season, Crowfield averaged 17.5 points per game for the Rebels, who went undefeated against in-state opponents.

Second team

Jordan Andrews, Riverside, 6-5, Sr.

Charles Brown, St. Augustine, 6-6, Sr.

Von Julien, Riverside, 6-1, Sr.

Kai Morgan, John Curtis, 6-2, So.

Chris Vickers, Salmen, 6-6, Sr.

Third team

Hunter Dugas, Mandeville, 6-1, Sr.

Richard Durant, John Curtis, 5-11, Sr.

DeJon Jarreau, McDonogh 35, 6-6, Jr.

Tre’Von Jasmine, East St. John, 6-1, Sr.

J.C. Younger, Country Day, 6-4, Jr.

Coach of the Year

Timmy Byrd, Riverside

Byrd guided the Rebels to their third consecutive state championship. They finished the season with a 30-6 record and went the entire season without losing to a Louisiana team. They haven’t lost to an in-state opponent since late 2013. It was the 12th state title for Byrd (five at Riverside, seven at Reserve Christian).