A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Marcus Paige
School: Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa)
Position: Point guard
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: Paige averaged 28.4 points, four rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals per game this past season, leading the Lions (20-5) to the Class 4A semifinals. A 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game invitee, he is the No. 23 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.
Academic excellence: Paige has maintained a 4.07 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school motivational speaker, as a youth basketball coach and on behalf of Students OK Without Drugs and Alcohol (SODA).
“Marcus Paige is not only the best player in the state, he is also a phenomenal teammate and a winner,” said Joe Barrer, head coach at Xavier (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). “He represents Iowa well by more than just his play on a basketball court.”
THE FUTURE: Paige has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of North Carolina this fall.