By Peter Vankevich
A new face graces Ocracoke School’s Wall of Fame at the entrance to the gym–that of Andrew Tillett, Class of 2014.
In a ceremony that took place during halftime of one of the recent holiday tournament games, Andrew was awarded this honor that only includes five others since 1969.
The school’s athletic director, Charles Temple, noted not only Andrew’s outstanding accomplishments on the basketball court, but also his many academic achievements. A student-athlete, Andrew was valedictorian of his class.
He joins a short list of the school’s athletes that includes Wade Austin (1990), Echo Bennink (2014), Adam Carter (2014), Bill Evans (1989) and Ronnie T. O’Neal, Jr (1969).
“Andrew was a perfect example of a scholar-athlete,” said Dave Allewalt, the boys basketball coach. “His hard work and dedication was a true honor to be a part of for the four years I coached him. Ocracoke is truly blessed to have Andrew displayed on the Wall of Fame each day.”
“Andrew may not have been the best athlete in most games, but he played the smartest and worked the hardest to be the best player in all games,” said School Principal Walter Padgett.
Padgett added that Tillett’s academic work ethic was mirrored on the basketball court.
“Because of that, he received the London Scholarship (along with several others) to University of North Carolina, and scored over a 1,000 points and over 1,000 rebounds in his career at Ocracoke School,” Padgett continued.
“With all of Andrew’s accomplishments in the classroom and athletics, I will remember him as always being a class act.”
Some of Andrew’s athletic accomplishments include being the first Ocracoke player to receive the “all-district” honor for senior year. The district is made up of Hyde, Dare, Tyrell, Perquimans, Washington and Hertford counties.
As a senior, he was also named most valuable player of the Bethel Invitational Tournament and made the first team of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament. He was also named to the first team of the All-Tideland Athletic conference.
His academic accomplishments, as noted by many, do indeed match his athleticism. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA and, prior to entering his senior year, attended the Governor’s School of North Carolina on the Meredith College campus in Raleigh. Begun in 1963 by Gov. Terry Sanford, this is the oldest summer residential program for academically for intellectually gifted high school students in the nation. Students do not receive grades or course credit, and acceptance is highly competitive.
His parents are Beaver Tillett, a waterman who also handles mosquito control in the village, and Leslie Lanier, owner of Books To Be Red on School Road and where Andrew is often seen when on break.
Andrew is a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill where he is majoring in physics.