The top defensive player in Division 1 NCAA basketball for the 2012 - 2013 season was Tommy Brenton, a 2007 River Hill High School graduate.
Earlier this month, Brenton's coach at Stony Brook University (NY), Steve Pikiell accepted the Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year award for Brenton in Atlanta, according to Newsday.com.
"Usually, these awards go to players from high majors," said Pikiell to Newsday. "I'm excited and thrilled they recognized what a great player Tommy has been. It's unbelievable. He's in select company. Usually, these awards go to first-round picks."
In fact, last year Kentucky's 6-11 center Anthony Davs was the defensive player of the year. He was the first pick of the 2012 NBA draft.
The award is sponsored by Collegeinsider.com and is voted on by coaches and media.
In an interview with Explore Howard this month, Brenton said, "The whole thing really caught me by surprise."
Brenton, a 6-foot-5 forward, averaged 8.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season for Stony Brook. He was named the 2012-2013 America East Conference player of the year.
"Brenton's gritty toughness on the floor resulted in his having to often defend the opponent's best offensive threats," wrote the Stony Brook Seawolves' team website their announcement of the award. "He made opponents take poor shots, took the most charges on the team and was always the first person diving to the floor to grab a loose ball."
In a Patch profile published in December, Pikiell said of Brenton, "He's one of the smartest players at all times on the floor. I think he gets respect from not just our players on our team but also our opponents."
Brenton suffered a serious knee injury in 2010 that kept him out of the 2010-2011 season, but has now played four seasons for Stony Brook, beginning in 2008. Brenton has finished his bachelor's degree and is wrapping up his master's degree this year, according to the Seawolves' team website.
In the spring of 2007, Brenton led the River Hill Hawks to their first ever state championship. Brenton totaled 28 points and snared 10 rebounds in the 2007 championship game when River Hill defeated Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 60-51, according to Press Box Online.
River Hill's Brenton Putting Stony Brook on the Right Track