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TJ Power caps off championship season with Gatorade POY
Worcester Academy’s TJ Power was awarded the Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year award. (Credit: Christine Peterson/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK)

TJ Power caps off championship season with Gatorade POY

WORCESTER, Mass. (BVM) – Worcester Academy’s TJ Power enjoyed an eventful junior season, helping lead his team to a Class AA NEPSAC tournament championship. The title run lended itself to some much deserved personal recognition for Power who capped off his prolific year with the Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year award.

“I woke up and saw some tweets about how I won [the award],” Power said of how he found out. “I called my parents first because I’m down in Florida and my family is up [in Massachusetts]. It was cool to call them and share the moment with them.”

Credit: Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK

The surprising morning was the cherry on top for the 6-foot-9 junior who helped Worcester to a 23-7 record in the competitive New England Prep league. With many deserving players around the state, Power made sure to show his appreciation for some of his own teammates, who he believed were just as deserving.

“It’s just nice to have some recognition,” Power said of the honor. “Obviously, there’s a lot of kids in this state that deserve this award… even on my team we had two or three guys that could have won the award like, Tre Norman and Kayvaun [Mulready] both had really good years. I texted them right after it came out and told them how it could have gone any which way and it’s not a spite to how they played this year because they were both amazing.”

After having just six games in 2021, the bright spot in the team’s season might just be that it provided a return to normalcy. Power’s opening season made for a difficult adjustment after making the move from Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, to Worcester, in his reclassified sophomore year. The change in competition was just the start for Power, who maneuvered to a much smaller basketball schedule as the prep league faced changing COVID-19 requirements.

In his first season with the Hilltoppers, Power’s transition would include an evolving role. After playing as more of a “traditional big man” at his last school, Power would enjoy the chance to access different parts of his game. With an offseason to do so, the Worcester forward would enter his junior season with a much more familiar set of circumstances. With a regular set of games back in place, Power and his teammates felt more than comfortable getting back into the groove of things.

“Our team did a good job of staying level [throughout the year],” Power said. “We had some really big wins and some really bad losses and we never got too high or too low. I think the whole season we were saying, just get into the playoffs healthy and… we knew we had the talent to make it deep into the playoffs.”

During the team’s season, Power averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He would go on to tally 26 points and 11 boards in the team’s 85-83 victory over Bradford Christian Academy in the Class AA title game, earning him tournament MVP honors.

After completing his basketball season just a couple of short weeks ago, Power has already shifted his focus to his other hobby, baseball. Currently down in Florida playing in a spring training tournament, Power has continued to balance the busy schedules brought on by both sports. 

Credit: Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK

“I’ve kind of balanced it my whole life with playing AAU baseball and basketball on the same weekends,” Power said. “It’s something that I’ve talked to schools about, playing it at their college and a lot of schools are interested in that, me maybe doing both.. so that’s something I might think about going forward.”

Along with the effects of the pandemic on the basketball season, Power would have the beginning of his recruiting process stunted as well. With most of his contact with schools dependent on film or referrals, Power has enjoyed the chance to get out in front of coaches in person. So far, he’s gotten the chance to visit a handful of programs and with his on-going two-sport schedule, he is hoping he can use some free time to check out a couple of more.

“I visited Iowa officially back in October and then I visited Virginia Tech in November, unofficially,” Power said. “I really like both those places and like their play styles. I visited all the New England schools basically unofficially, because they’re easy to get to and I really like Providence and Boston College – I’ll probably get out more this spring if I get time and I want to see like Wake Forest and maybe a couple of other places.”

As he prepares for what should be a busy upcoming year, Power is focused on controlling what he can control. With a list of accomplishments already in hand, the future looks bright for the Worcester star.

“It’s taken off,” Power said of his recruitment. “I never really imagined myself like that, but I just hope I continue to work hard and have success and hopefully have more recruitment boosts down the road.”

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