There was so much Dionte Bostick (formerly Blanch) wanted to achieve this season. The Murray State signee strived to keep piling on the points, remain the unquestioned leader and guide East Lake to its first-ever state semifinal appearance.
The senior was able to check each of those goals off his list. On Monday, he was able to add one more with his selection as the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 6A state player of the year. The winners in each classification were selected by a panel of high school boys basketball coaches and reporters.
“It’s honestly huge because I’ve been trying to win this since my sophomore year and it shows that my hard work finally paid off,” Bostick said of taking 6A honors.
The dynamic playmaker also came close to being named the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Basketball, the award given to the state’s top player regardless of classification. Bostick finished second in the voting behind Paxon’s Isaiah Adams.
In January, Bostick had the go-ahead layup and game-winning steal in the final minute of regulation to lead the Eagles to a 58-57 win over Paxon in the final of the Sun Bash tournament.
Bostick averaged 24.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season. Often, he put up those numbers with opposing defenses trying everything to keep him away from the basket. It did not matter. Blanch could slither through the tiniest passages for layups. Or he could step back and swish 3-pointers with regularity.
The wins kept coming. At one point, the Eagles were ranked as the state’s top team in 6A this season. In the playoffs, Blanch helped save East Lake’s season by nailing a buzzer-beating 3-pointer with three defenders converging on him to beat defending two-time state semifinalist Lehigh in the region quarterfinals. He continued to shine in the postseason to get the Eagles to the state semifinals. East Lake vowed to keep the same routine, practicing in their gym in preparation for playing on the state’s biggest stage in high school basketball.
The Eagles’ dynamic playmaker made one significant change, switching his last name from Blanch to Bostick.
“My father wanted it to be changed to his last name and we both agreed on that,” Bostick said.
About the only thing Bostick could accomplish this season was a state title. The Eagles lost to eventual champion Bartow in the semifinals. Blanch led the team in scoring with 23 points.
“Besides winning the state championship I did everything I set out to do, and I have no regrets on the season,” Bostick said. “I’m very satisfied.”