Another future Buckeye has been named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball.
The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association announced Wednesday the 2023 winner of the prestigious award is Devin Royal, a senior forward from Pickerington Central who beat out 2022 winner Gabe Cupps of Centerville by the voting margin of just 90-87.
Royal is the 11th winner to be an Ohio State signee, joining Jimmy Jackson of Toledo Macomber, Greg Simpson of Lima Senior, Damon Stringer of Cleveland Heights, Jamar Butler of Lima Shawnee, Jon Diebler of Upper Sandusky, William Buford of Toledo Libbey, Jared Sullinger of Columbus Northland, Marc Loving of Toledo St. John’s, Kaleb Wesson of Westerville South and Malaki Branham of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
(Tony Stockman of Medina also played for Ohio State, but he signed with Clemson out of high school.)
Along with Branham, Royal gives Ohio State two winners in three years after having just one (Wesson) from 2014-20.
Cupps is headed to Indiana and was bidding to be the seventh repeat winner, joining Jackson, Simpson, Sullinger, LeBron James, O.J. Mayo and Luke Kennard.
The Centerville point guard will still get a chance at revenge of his own this weekend when the Elks take on Pickerington Central in a Division I state semifinal, a rematch of the 2022 state championship game claimed by Royal and PCHS.
Royal is averaging 19.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 65 percent from the floor.
Earlier this year, he passed former Buckeye Jae’Sean Tate to become the Tigers’ all-time leading scorer, and he is ranked the No. 1 recruit in Ohio by 247Sports.
Royal is the No. 40 recruit overall in 247Sports Composite national rankings and part of an OSU recruiting class ranked No. 6 in the country.
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