South Dakota Boys Hoop POY: Zach Hanson

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: Zach Hanson


School: T.F. Riggs (Pierre, S.D.)

Grade: Junior

Position: Forward

Height: 6-foot-9


Athletic achievement: Hanson led the Governors to an 18-8 record and third place in the Class AA state tournament this past season. He averaged 17.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. A Second Team All-State selection as a sophomore, Hanson has twice been named First Team All-Conference.

Academic excellence: Hanson has maintained a 3.19 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of a youth mentoring program.


“Hanson’s motor never stops,” said Brent Norberg, head coach at Central (Aberdeen, S.D.). “He’s got multiple moves, he can finish with both hands and he can shoot dependably from 15 to 16 feet. If he was three inches shorter, he’d still be a great player.”

THE FUTURE: Hanson will begin his senior year of high school this fall.