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.
Senior point guard, Sidwell Friends School (Washington, D.C.)
2011-12 Team record: 18-7 (Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference)
2011-12 Team standing: Lost MAC semifinal to St. James (Md.), 77-72
2011-12 Points per game: 17.2
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 7.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 5.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.5
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: University of Pennsylvania
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Amassed 25 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists in the 77-72 conference semifinal loss to St. James. His 17.2 points and 5.2 assists accounted for 42.5 percent of Sidwell's 65.0 points per game. Owns school's career assists and steals records. No. 47 ranked point guard in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. Three-time All-Conference selection. Two-time returning Honorable Mention All-Met selection as named by The Washington Post.
Junior guard/forward, Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.)
2011-12 Team record: 27-7 (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference)
2011-12 Team standing: No. 30 ranked team on ESPNHS FAB 50; Lost WCAC final to DeMatha Catholic, 45-42
2011-12 Points per game: 19.8
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 10.6
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.9
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.2
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Totaled 31 points and 10 rebounds in a WCAC semifinals win over Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), and then scored 14 in the low-scoring, 45-42 loss to DeMatha Catholic in the final. Captured tournament Most Valuable Player honors at this winter’s Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia, Basketball Hall of Fame Spalding Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts and Piggly Wiggly Roudnball Classic in South Carolina. No. 40 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNU. 2012 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year. 2011 Second Team All-Met selection as named by The Washington Post. 2011 and 2012 First Team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection.
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.
Darian Anderson: Sophomore guard, St. John's College (Washington, D.C.)
Nate Britt: Junior point guard, Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.)
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.