Westtown School players and coaches lined up together at the three-point line of La Salle’s Tom Gola Arena, patiently awaiting their PAISAA state championship medals.

Dereck Lively II, who had just notched a double-double to propel the Moose to a 46-41 win over the Perkiomen School on Saturday, gracefully fell to his back and placed his head near the low block with his 7-foot-1, 230-pound frame stretched all the way up to the free-throw line. Lively dropped his head, cracked a smile and looked up at the lights.

“I finished,” Lively remembered thinking. “These four years have been rough. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been through a lot. Now, I’m done and it’s time for my next step.”

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He had just capped off an illustrious four-year career with his second state title. His first came as a sophomore in 2020. This one, his final game as a Moose, earned a medal with his fingerprints all over it.

The Duke signee, who committed to coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer’s 2022 recruiting class, totaled 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the win — predominantly off ferocious two-handed dunks.

Lively was met by a standing ovation from the Westtown student section as he accepted the medal. Then Lively pointed a finger high up into the stands toward his mother, Kathy Drysdale, whom he credits as a major source of motivation and advice.

Lively stockpiled individual awards across his three-year Westtown playing career after he missed his freshman year due to injury. He collected more than 1,000 rebounds, was named to the 2022 Naismith National High School All-American Boys first team, was ranked ESPN’s No. 1 player in the nation for the class of 2022, and was invited to the 2022 McDonald’s All American Game in Chicago on March 29.

For Lively, those individual accomplishments pale in comparison to team success. Westtown coach Seth Berger will tell you his center’s defining characteristic is his selflessness.

“He’s 10 out of 10 committed to his team first, his team second, and his team third,” Berger said. “Dereck wants to do whatever he can in practice and in games to help his team win basketball games. That’s what he cares about.”

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The 15-year coach called his current team, now etched in history as the 2022 PAISAA state champions, one of the most well-connected groups he’s coached. The majority of the six-deep rotation that shared the floor Saturday night has grown up playing together at Westtown.

Lively, along with Berger’s son, Quinn, and Wade Chiddick, are listed as senior guards. Matt Mayock, a sharp-shooting wing, is the same age but listed as a reclassified junior. And senior guard Jameel Brown, headed for Penn State, was named a captain in his first year with the program.

Quinn Berger’s 17 points off five threes were a huge factor in beating Perkiomen. Brown also chipped in eight points and a solid defensive effort.

“Just knowing that you can be in this position,” Lively said, “with the brothers that you grinded with, cried with, fought with … it’s amazing.”

After graduating from the Westtown basketball program, he wants to be remembered as the guy who would do whatever it takes to win. Berger added that his legacy will be as the most selfless star he’s ever coached.

“If Dereck can walk, he can play,” Berger said.

That statement was tested in the title game. Lively caught an entry pass from the left block midway through the second quarter. Looking for a two-handed dunk through a double team, he went up high and came down hard. The big man spent four seconds wincing in pain, clutching his previously rolled ankle. Then he got up, wiped the pain off his face and ran back on defense.

The lesson he’s learned, Lively said, is to be patient. Coach Berger and Westtown basketball taught him to take everything one step at a time.

“It’s starting to hit me,” Lively said after playing his final game for Westtown. “But I know that I’m going to carry everything I learned with me moving forward.”