“Complete Player:” McGill-Toolen star Barry Dunning Jr. named Mr. Basketball 2022
Barry Dunning Jr. played his best high school basketball in the final games of his career at McGill-Toolen.
But the very the best is perhaps yet to come.
The Arkansas signee and two-time Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year was named the state’s 40th Mr. Basketball by the Alabama Sports Writers Association Thursday in Montgomery. The annual ASWA Player of the Year Banquet was sponsored by ALFA Insurance and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
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“We always said Barry was going to play his best basketball as a senior,” McGill-Toolen head coach Phillip Murphy said. “He’s a latecomer in my opinion. He’s got a really high ceiling. He definitely played the best basketball of his high school career in his last two weeks.
“It’s going to be fun to see what he does in Arkansas.”
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward led McGill-Toolen to the Class 6A state semifinals this season. He’s Mobile’s first Mr. Basketball since Theodore’s Dazon Ingram won the award in 2015.
“It means a lot,” Dunning said. “There has been a lot of hard work. I want to thank God first. I would like to thank my mother, my father, the McT program and my grandmother who always believed in me. It’s just a blessing to know that if you always keep God first and work hard, your dreams will come true.
Dunning is the first recipient of McGill-Toolen Catholic.
“He’s definitely worthy of being Mr. Basketball,” said Philip Roebling of Theodore, who has coached Ingram and coached against Dunning for the past four years. “Barry is a complete player. Obviously he’s good enough to go to an SEC school. That’s saying something in itself.
“As he continues to play, he will get better and better. He shoots well and he’s aggressive going to the basket. But he doesn’t just score. It also bounces and blocks shots. He is good at everything.
The last four Mr. Basketball winners – JD Davison (Alabama) of Calhoun, Trendon Watford (LSU) of Mountain Brook, John Petty (Alabama) and Ingram (Alabama) of Mae Jemison – all signed initially with SEC schools . Davison, Petty and Watford have each won the award two years in a row.
Dunning, also named Class 6A Player of the Year at the banquet, averaged 25.3 points and 12.9 rebounds this season. He also averaged 3.3 steals, 2.6 assists and 1.7 blocks for the Yellow Jackets’ 30 wins. He was also the AL.com Alabama Coastal Player of the Year.
The last three games of his McGill career looked like this:
– 25 points and 25 rebounds in a regional semi-final against Benjamin Russell
— 27 points and 18 rebounds in the regional final against rival Spanish Fort
– 25 points, 18 rebounds and 3 steals in a 62-58 loss to Huffman in the state semifinals.
“Barry Dunning is amazing,” Spanish Fort coach Jimbo Tolbert said after his team’s loss to McGill in Montgomery.
To cap off his high school career, Dunning was named Alabama MVP in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. He finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists in Alabama’s 96-89 victory.
“He stood out as a basketball player in all phases of the game,” Murphy said of Dunning’s performance in the All-Star Game. “He played the right way and was rewarded for it. I thought, by far, he was the best player on the pitch.
Murphy said Dunning’s college future was unlimited.
“If he continues on the trajectory we’ve seen, he’s going to do amazing things,” he said. “He can play positions 1-4. He can keep 1-4. This versatility will bring him into the field early. There is no doubt about it.
Dunning said the Mr. Basketball award was a great way to end his high school career, but not a perfect way.
“I really wanted that state title, but things happen for a reason,” Dunning said. “It’s definitely a good way to end my senior season.”
SUPER ALL-STATE BOYS
(top 5 players regardless of ranking)
Barry Dunning Jr., McGill-Toolen
Labaron Philon, Baker
Martavious Russell, Vale of Sipsey
Antonio Kite, Anniston
Anthony Johnson, midfielder
BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
7A: Labaron Philon, Baker
6A: Barry Dunning Jr., McGill-Toolen
5A: Martavious Russell, Vale of Sipsey
4A: Antonio Kite, Anniston
3A: Cole Millican, Plainview
2A: Anthony Johnson, midfielder
1A: Will Bonner, Belgreen
AISA: Robert Rose, Autauga Academy
SIR. BASKETBALL WINNERS
1985 – Vincent Robinson, Bridgeport
1986 – Larry Rembert, Keith
1987 – Bryant Lancaster, Valley
1988 – Terrance Lewis, Ramsay
1989 – Queintonia Higgins, Fairhope
1990 – Cedric Moore, Woodlawn
1991 – Victor Newman, Houston Academy
1992 – Darryl Wilson, South Lamar
1993 – Howard Pride, Butler
1994 – Rod Willie, Lee Huntsville
1995 – Brian Williams, Jeff Davis
1996 – Isaac Spencer, Jeff Davis
1997 – Anthony Williams, Loachapoka
1998 – Sam Haginas, UMS-Wright
1999 – Marvin Stone, Grissom
2000 – Gerald Wallace, Childersburg
2001 – Chris White, Grissom
2002 – Kennedy Winston, Blount
2003 – Ronald Steele, John Carroll
2004 – Ronald Steele, John Carroll
2005 – Richard Hendrix, Athens
2006 – Stanley Robinson, Huffman
2007 – Courtney Fortson, Jeff Davis
2008 – JaMychal Green, St. Jude
2009 – Kerron Johnson, Madison Academy
2010 – Trevor Lacey, Butler
2011 – Trevor Lacey, butler
2012 – Craig Sword, Carver-Montgomery
2013 – De’Runnya Wilson, Wenonah
2014 – William Lee, Dallas County
2015 – Dazon Ingram, Theodore
2016 – John Petty, J.O. Johnson
2017 – John Petty, Mae Jemison
2018 – Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook
2019 – Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook
2020 – JD Davison, Calhoun
2021 – JD Davison, Calhoun
2022 – Barry Dunning Jr., McGill-Toolen