Rockland's Gibson named Gatorade Player of the Year

Rockland senior center Tyler Gibson was named Massachusetts' Gatorade Player of the Year on Thursday after averaging 21.4 points, 15.3 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game. Brendan Hall/ESPNBoston.com

In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Tyler Gibson of Rockland High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Gibson is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Rockland High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Gibson as Massachusetts’s best high school boys basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Gibson joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.), Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.) and Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas).

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound senior center averaged 21.4 points, 15.3 rebounds, 4.8 blocks and 2.1 assists per game this past season, leading the Bulldogs (19-4) to the Division 3, South Region semifinals. A two-time Brockton Enterprise All-Scholastic selection and the 2013 South Shore League MVP, Gibson had eight games this season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. He concluded his high school basketball career with 986 points.

Gibson has maintained a 3.32 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and has also donated his time as an elementary school mentor.

“Tyler Gibson is certainly a game-changer and a hell of a player,” said Jim Willis, head coach of Cohasset High. “He was definitely the No. 1 reason Rockland won the league this year and went as far as they did. Defensively, he just changed every game he was in because of his size and jumping ability.”

Gibson has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell beginning this fall.

Gibson joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Players of the Year Rene Castro (2011-12, Worcester Academy), Pat Connaughton (2010-11, St. John's Preparatory School), Nate Lubick (2009-10 & 2008-09, St. Mark's School), Stevie Mejia (2007-08, Lawrence Academy), and Mike Baldarelli (2006 – 07, Holy Name Central Catholic) among the state’s list of former award winners.