The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.
Junior forward, DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.)
2011-12 Team record: 19-9 (Class 5)
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Class 5 district finals
2011-12 Points per game: 19.5
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 3
2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.1
Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Butler (verbal)
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-Conference. 2011 First Team All-State.
Senior forward, Cardinal Ritter (St. Louis, Mo.)
2011-12 Team record: 21-5 (Class 3)
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in first round of Class 3 state tournament
2011-12 Points per game: 31.7
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.6
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.4
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.2
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Notre Dame
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State. 2010 and 2011 First Team All-Conference. 2011 Conference Player of the Year.
Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.
Jordon Granger: Senior forward, McCluer North (Florissant, Mo.)
Paul McRoberts: Senior guard, Soldan (St. Louis, Mo.)
Jalen Norman: Junior forward, Nixa (Mo.)
Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.