Junior Jared Sullinger of the Northland High School boys basketball team wasn't just a casual fan watching Dublin Scioto's 68-49 win over Cincinnati St. Xavier in a Division I regional semifinal March 18.

THE CAPTAIN

Junior Jared Sullinger of the Northland High School boys basketball team wasn't just a casual fan watching Dublin Scioto's 68-49 win over Cincinnati St. Xavier in a Division I regional semifinal March 18.

That fact alone is something that the Ohio State recruit believes is proof of his growth from a year ago. The Vikings, who beat the Irish 54-53 in overtime in the regional final last Saturday, were upset by Westerville South 67-59 in a district semifinal a year ago as Sullinger was suspended because of academic issues.

"Right now the main thing I've been focusing on is my mental game," Sullinger said. "At this time last year I was sitting at home, and I realized that without the books there's no basketball."

That maturity has Northland in the midst of another memorable season and has earned him the honor of Super 12 captain.

With the 6-foot-8 Sullinger on the roster the last three seasons, the Vikings have won two district championships and are 70-3.
Sullinger, who made the Super 12 the past two seasons, is averaging 20 points and 14 rebounds.

He was first-team all-City League-North Division and was the district Player of the Year.

Against Scioto, Sullinger had 17 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks.

"It's been nothing but fun, and I couldn't do any of this without my teammates," Sullinger said. "I just want to tell them, 'Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be a leader on the floor.'"

Sullinger is the second member of his family to be named the Super 12 captain, joining 2001 Thomas Worthington graduate and brother J.J. Sullinger, who was the captain as a senior. Another brother, Julian, made the Super 12 in 2004 as a senior at Northland.

"One thing about him is that he's very unselfish," coach Satch Sullinger said. "He was really playing well when he got injured. He played as well as he could during the big games."

•PAST CAPTAINS - Canal Winchester's B.J. Mullens (2008), Eastmoor's Lamont Barnes (1994) and Ron Steward (2007), Reynoldsburg's Javont Clanton (2006), Brookhaven's Jamelle Cornley (2004, 2005), Andrew Lavender (2003) and Antwain Lavender (1998), Dublin Coffman's Chris Quinn (2002), Worthington Christian's Sam Smith (2000), Westland's Doug Davis (1996, 1997) and Westerville North's Shaun Stonerook (1995).