The 2011-12 Gatorade State Boys Basketball Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for.
Name: Matt Costello
School: Bay City Western
Position: Power forward/center
Weight: 225 pounds
Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Michigan Boys Basketball Player of the Year. 2009-10 and 2010-11 First Team All-State selection. 2010-11 League Most Valuable Player. No. 87 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. Led the Warriors (24-3) to the Class A state semifinals.
Academics: 3.7 GPA
College: Michigan State University
Extracurricular activities: An accomplished trumpet player in his school’s jazz, symphonic and marching bands, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor and as a youth basketball coach and official.
Lou Dawkins, head coach of rival Saginaw (Mich.): “There is no doubt in my mind that Costello is the No. 1 player in the state of Michigan. In just three short years, he has clearly shown his initiative and I’m confident he will welcome the challenges he will meet in the near future.”
A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the program’s behalf. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU recruit rankings.
To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.