Boys' Basketball Athlete of the Year: Matt Duffie
Matt Duffie had a strong sophomore campaign for the Bishop Hendricken basketball team as he helped anchor the best defense in the state. As he got set for his junior season – one that came with higher expectations for the Hawks – he didn’t want any of his teammates to forget about their defensive roots.
“It starts on defense,” Duffie said. “The year before, we didn’t really score but we were always in games because of our defense. I just wanted to make sure we still had that.”
They had that – and plenty more.
Duffie became one of the team’s best offensive threats as the Hawks established themselves as a contender. After they were bounced from the Division I tournament, they regrouped for the all-division state tournament and went out and won it.
“It felt great to win,” Duffie said. “It’s what you work for.”
Even for a storied program, this one was special. In the semifinals, Hendricken knocked off a La Salle team that had dominated them in previous meetings. In the championship game, the Hawks surged past Central to win the title. Duffie scored 12 points, and he and his teammates shut down a Knights team that had lit it up from long range throughout the playoffs.
Duffie finished the year as the Hawks leading scorer and a driving force on defense.
“He did it on both ends of the court,” said head coach Jamal Gomes.
For Duffie, the championship continued a tremendous athletic career at Hendricken. The Warwick native won two state championships on the football field as a standout defensive back for the Hawks. The basketball title was icing on the cake.
Duffie will leave Hendricken for Tabor Academy this fall, where he’ll play both football and basketball.
“He’s an outstanding young man,” Gomes said. “His mindset and mental toughness are second to none. We’re very proud of him.”