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 power forward, Westview (Portland, Ore.)
2011-12 Team record: 18-7
2011-12 Team standing: Lost Class 6A second round to David Douglas (Portland, Ore.), 54-53
2011-12 Points per game: 19.3
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 13.5
2011-12 Assists per game: 1.8
2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.8
2011-12 Steals per game: 0.4
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Kansas
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Exploded for 32 points and 17 rebounds in a 66-47 blowout of Newberg (Ore.) during the first round of the Class 6A state tournament, and then was recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 54-53 loss to Douglas in the second round. Shot 54.3 percent from the field and 62.8 percent from the free throw line. No. 20 ranked power forward in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2011-12 First Team All-State preseason selection as named by ESPNHS. 2011 Les Schwab Invitational First Team All-Tournament selection. 2011 Nike Global Challenge invitee. 2010 Third Team All-Metro League selection.
Junior point guard, Jesuit (Portland, Ore.)
2011-12 Team record: 26-2 (Class 6A)
2011-12 Team standing: Class 6A state champions; Ranked No. 40 on ESPNHS FAB 50
2011-12 Points per game: 15.4
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 3.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.5
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Amassed 19 points, four assists and four rebounds in the 52-42 state title-clinching victory against Lake Oswego (Ore.). His 15.4 points and 2.0 assists produced 32.4 percent of Jesuit's 59.9 points per game. Led the Crusaders to a runner-up finish at this past winner's prestigious Les Schwab Invitational, capturing All-Tournament Team honors. 2012 Class 6A First Team All-Tournament selection. 2012 Metro League Player of the Year. 2011 Third Team All-League selection. 2011 Class 6A state champion.
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.
Danny Brakebush: Senior guard/forward, Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.)
Austin Dyer: Junior power forward, Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.)
J.T. Flowers: Senior small forward, Lincoln (Portland, Ore.)
Calvin Hermanson: Junior small forward, Lake Oswego (Ore.)
Avry Holmes: Senior guard, North Salem (Salem, Ore.)
Victor Sanders: Junior guard/forward, Jefferson (Portland, Ore.)
L.J. Westbrook: Junior guard, North Salem (Salem, Ore.)
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.