Cullen Reed’s playing career at Dawson County may have ended, but the awards keep coming in for the graduating senior who totaled 1,419 career points in a Tiger uniform. Reed was recently named to the 2017-18 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-State Boys Basketball Team.
“It’s definitely an honor because there’s a lot of players in the state that are probably a lot better than me,” Reed said. “So just to be mentioned as one of the top (players) just means a lot. I’m really thankful for all my teammates and coaches because there’s a lot that goes into practice and everything and that’s the only reason I got to this point.
“It’s definitely an honor, but it definitely wasn’t just me. It was my teammates and coaches helping push me along the way, but it’s really nice to see how it all kind of paid off in the end.”
The humble leader of the Dawson County Tigers varsity team scored 16.2 points per game while helping the Tigers reach the Sweet 16 of the Class AAA state tournament this past season. Reed was more than just the team’s leading scorer too. The senior averaged 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game while also leading the team in charges taken.
In addition to being named to the GACA All-State team, Reed was invited to play in the North Georgia All-Star Classic at Gainesville High School along with teammate and fellow 1,000-point scorer Jeremiah Crumley, someone Reed credits a lot for the success of the Tigers run to the Sweet 16.
“He’s definitely one of the best players in our region,” said Reed about Crumley. “It was definitely a blessing to have him because otherwise we wouldn’t have been in the (Sweet 16).”
Together, Reed and Crumley led the Tigers through the difficult transition that a coaching change always presents when Coach Chad Pittman came in two years ago.
Pittman credits Reed with helping get the team to buy into the new coaching system which allowed the Tigers to make two consecutive runs in the state tournament after failing to make the tournament in Reed’s freshman and sophomore season.
Of course, Reed is always quick to point out that it wasn’t just him and that it was a team effort.
As far as the future goes, Reed has no immediate plans to play in college. The GACA All-State selection will be attending the University of North Georgia in the fall as “just a regular student.”
Reed hasn’t ruled out the possibility of trying to walk-on for the Nighthawks somewhere down the line, but for now, one of Dawson County’s all-time greats is calling it a career.
“I love basketball more than almost anything,” Reed said. “It was awesome for me to get to play in high school. I was fortunate I got to play varsity. I went through losing seasons my first couple years. My first year and then the middle two years, we were getting better but we weren’t there yet. Then this year we were all older and we clicked a little bit and we won games and we made it to state.
“It was just really cool for all of us to come together this last year because it was a long, long ride. To end on a high note like this, it was definitely the best feeling for it to work out the way it did.”