Todd Beamer seniors Aaliyah Alexander and Brycen Dillworth. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Todd Beamer seniors Aaliyah Alexander and Brycen Dillworth. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Todd Beamer basketball players made of MVP material

Seniors Aaliyah Alexander, Brycen Dillworth win NPSL Olympic Division honors as Most Valuable Players for basketball.

Seniors Brycen Dillworth and Aaliyah Alexander are made of MVP material.

The Todd Beamer basketball players are the recipients of the 2019-2020 season NPSL Olympic Division Most Valuable Player honors for both the boys and girls teams.

For Aaliyah, this year’s award is a two-peat.

The senior shooting guard for Todd Beamer’s girls basketball team won the North Puget Sound League MVP title last year and captured the honor again this season — before leading the Titans to a sixth-place finish at the WIAA 4A Hardwood Classic state basketball tournament last weekend.

Aaliyah has led the team in scoring all season, becoming the first player in Todd Beamer history to score over 1,000 points.

She is one of the top three in rebounds for the team, said Corey Alexander, TBHS girls basketball head coach and Aaliyah’s father.

“Aaliyah has a very high basketball IQ. [She’s] very athletic, a good student-athlete,” he said. “A team player that likes to see everyone succeed.”

The Titans capped off their season with a power performance at state, winning 57-41 against Union then losing 57-50 against Woodinville to put Todd Beamer into a consolation bracket. Refusing to give up, the Titans beat Chiawana 51-41, followed by a 67-56 loss to Issaquah to secure sixth place in state.

In preparation for the 2019-2020 season, Aaliyah spent the summer playing on the Nike Elite EYBL flagship team of Tree of Hope Basketball club to work on her ball-handling skills.

Aaliyah defines MVP material as the ability to make wise decisions on the court and amp up aggression in game-play when needed.

“It’s about playing good defense, staying positive and believing you can win the game,” she said. “It starts at tip-off … [That’s when] leadership skills come out.”

But, it goes beyond the game, Aaliyah said. MVP is defined by how you carry yourself, your sportsmanship, your morals and personality.

Being deemed the most valuable player back-to-back years feels good, Aaliyah said, because of the recognition from other coaches. While parents tend to be great supporters, the reality of success sets in when others outside of immediate kin recognize the talent, she said.

Aaliyah, who has been playing basketball since the third grade, wasn’t surprised at the honor because “I’m hesitant to say that I expected it … but I do work really hard.”

The senior has committed to playing basketball at the collegiate level for Eastern Washington University starting in the fall.

Brycen, a point guard for the boys team, led the league in scoring and steals, while also being one of the top players in free throw attempts and rebounds.

“He just was relentless going to the rim,” said Todd Beamer boys basketball head coach Brent Brilhante. When it came to playing time on the court, Dillworth played all but maybe 10 minutes the entire season, he said.

Todd Beamer’s boys team is 7-7 in league and made it to the playoffs.

“I felt like last year I didn’t do as well as I could have,” Brycen said. “This year I really stepped out and showed that I was MVP material.”

MVP material is made of constantly working hard and proving to competitors that you’re the one to watch, he explained.

“Whether on the field, the court, or the track, I’m going to work as hard as I can no matter what … I’m going to show you I’m a force to be reckoned with,” the three-sport athlete added.

Brycen hopes his legacy proves passion will out-perform physical stature.

“I might be only 5-foot-9, but my heart plays like I’m over six foot … You don’t have to be over six foot to be a premier player.”

Coachability is another strength of Brycen’s.

“He’s the easiest kid I’ve ever had to coach,” said Brilhante, who has been coaching since 1991. “He embodies everything about playing hard, playing for your teammates.”

After graduation, Brycen’s plans are undetermined, although he hopes to walk on to play football or basketball at the collegiate level.

Having two MVPs for one sport is a first for their high school, said Jay Cardwell, TBHS athletic director.

Both athletes have provided a strong foundation of leadership in athletics as well as academics, and make their campus a better place, Cardwell added.

“They are outstanding representatives of Todd Beamer High School,” he said. “We are very proud of them.”

NPSL Girls Basketball All-League Olympic Division selections

MVP

Todd Beamer senior Aaliyah Alexander

Coach of the Year

Todd Beamer head coach Corey Alexander

First Team

Thomas Jefferson senior Hailey Still

Decatur senior Ramona Jagger

Todd Beamer senior Sharay Trotter

Decatur freshman Jewel Young

Auburn Mountainview junior Hayley Flores

Second Team

Auburn senior Jaya Harshman

Auburn senior Emily Strojan

Auburn Riverside senior Stephanie Igwala

Auburn Mountainview senior Jenna Lacey

Enumclaw senior Sydney Brazier

Third Team

Enumclaw senior Jesslyn Huizenga

Todd Beamer senior Halo Parks

Todd Beamer senior Najahia Forks

Auburn Riverside sophomore Chloe Furnstahl

Enumclaw senior Sawyer Anderson

Auburn senior Tatiana Rose

All Defensive Team

Todd Beamer senior Aaliyah Alexander

Todd Beamer senior Sharay Trotter

Thomas Jefferson senior Gjianni White

Decatur senior Ramona Jagger

Auburn senior Emily Strojan

NPSL Boys Basketball All-League Olympic Division selections

MVP

Todd Beamer senior Brycen Dillworth

Defensive Player of the Year

Federal Way senior Jaylen-Wes Williams

Coach of the Year: Enumclaw’s Terry Johnson

First Team

Auburn sophomore Maleek Arington

Federal Way senior Bradley Graham

Auburn Riverside senior Julius Cain

Auburn sophomore Trevon Blassingame

Auburn Mountainview sophomore Salauta Savusa

Second Team

Auburn sophomore Dae’kwon Watson

Auburn junior Amar Rivers

Federal Way senior Jaylen-Wes Williams

Enumclaw junior John Leonard

Auburn Riverside junior Kevin Griffin

Third Team

Enumclaw sophomore Dane Goudy

Auburn Riverside senior Cole Lenihan

Thomas Jefferson senior Daviaun Gale

Federal Way senior Peter Erickson

Todd Beamer senior Steven Black


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Todd Beamer seniors Aaliyah Alexander and Brycen Dillworth. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Todd Beamer seniors Aaliyah Alexander and Brycen Dillworth. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

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