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“He’s gonna go down as one of our best scorers in Centennial history”: How Josh Frazier has left his mark on Centennial as only a Junior

Alex Raney, Centennial Sports Media
Alex Raney, Centennial Sports Media

After winning regionals and falling short to the eventual 3A state champions at City College last season, Centennial basketball outshined expectations. Although sophomore Josh Frazier already had a prominent role on the team, Frazier knew he would have to step up for Centennial, as key seniors like Ty Beck-Winter and Tyler Longwell were set to graduate that spring. So far this season, he’s exceeded expectations and filled their spots just fine, creating serious buzz for first-team all-county and Howard County Player of the Year in his junior season.

Starting his career at Centennial as a freshman on JV, coach Robert Slopek quickly noticed that he had the physical abilities to be a substantial factor for the Eagles. “​​He’s a strong kid, so we knew he had a lot of those tools to handle the varsity game, but he had to improve more of the basketball piece,” Slopek added. His improvements after his freshman year as a player were enough to earn a spot on Varsity as a sophomore. At the start of the 2022-23 season, a wrist injury kept him off the court, but he quickly turned heads and gained the first impression from coaches of being, “an elite athlete, who was very good at using his size and his strength.”

“Right away” was how coach Slopek quickly answered when asked about his realization that Frazier had what it took to lead Centennial. “You know pretty quickly he has the physical gifts and the drive to do it because he wants to be successful. He’s very coachable, so he wants to know what he can do to be better. We knew pretty quickly that he could be the guy, and once he figured out how to play in the system and how it benefited him, he would definitely continue that progress and keep growing.”

Frazier finished the 2022-23 season as a key component of the Eagles late run, and even though he was one of the younger players on the team, he didn’t let that impact the way he played. “Honestly, I didn’t really see it as an age thing, because I’ve been playing with those guys even when I was in middle school. I’d go up to the local YMCA and Ty Beck-Winter was who I really looked up to, because he was a really good leader and we played the same position. Everything he said, everybody would just listen, and I got better from that.” Frazier ended the season earning the honor of second-team all-county, with 13.5 points and 6 rebounds per game. He looked back to the 2A regional championship at Manchester Valley as his favorite moment throughout his career at Centennial, because of his first in-game dunk along with coming back home to cut down the nets. 

Mike Frainie, Baltimore Sun

Once the seniors did leave and the leadership was passed down, there was almost no junior season for Frazier with Centennial. “I was supposed to transfer last year but it was a really far drive, and honestly, with AAU I felt I was doing fine and I didn’t feel like I needed to make that move. I ended up staying and it’s been working out.” After Frazier decided to stay as an Eagle for the 2023-24 season, he got off to a hot start, leading the Eagles to a 10-6 record with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. 

The team has high expectations for themselves, and Josh believes they can achieve anything, claiming that “there’s no one more talented than us.” “My aspiration for the team is to win championships like states, which I believe we can do. I think we have to continue to grow and apply more effort to our games.”

Josh ignored all personal accolades, but his coach believes he’s a “multiple first-team all-county kid, who’s gonna be in the conversation for the next two years for Howard County player of the year.” Slopek defended his claim, stating, “he was second-team all-county last year as a sophomore, I definitely think he should be in discussion for player of the year in the county as a junior. He shouldn’t be anything other than first-team (all-county), but who knows how that goes down the stretch. I think he’s done a really good job understanding that if the team is successful then he’s gonna be successful, and those individual accolades only come as the growth of the team continues.” 

Coach Slopek mentioned a few accolades that Frazier could achieve, including achieving the 1000-point mark and being on the banner with only two other names in Centennial history, in Damian Biggs (1983) and Tom Brown (2016). He also stated that he believes Josh “has the ability to play at the collegiate level, and hopefully, he can continue that growth and meet those goals to get there.”

While only briefly starting the collegiate recruiting process, Josh believes that over the summer it will start to pick up, highly through AAU. He’s started to send out emails and highlights to schools. As of now, he’s entirely focused on recruitment, but mentioned Rutgers or North Carolina as his dream schools. 

In less than two years of playing for Varsity, Josh Frazier has humbly played lights-out basketball for the Eagles while chasing the end goal of bringing championships back to Centennial. Praise is high from coaches and teammates, and if he keeps up the pace he could not only do so, but also achieve substantial personal goals, cementing his legacy as one of the best scorers the school has ever seen.

Alex Raney, Centennial Sports Media


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Jackson Palich, Sports Editor