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: Tyus Jones
School: Apple Valley (Minn.)
Position: Point guard
Weight: 175 pounds
Athletic achievement: Jones averaged 28.1 points, 8.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game this past season, leading the Eagles (23-6) to the Class 4A sectional finals. A returning Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by the Associated Press, Jones shot 55.6 percent from the field, 44.0 percent from 3-point range and 86.6 percent from the free throw line. A member of USA Basketball’s U16 National Team, he averaged 4.6 points and 5.6 assists during an unbeaten five-game run to the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship this past summer.
Academic excellence: Jones has maintained a 3.05 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of Feed My Starving Children and as a motivational speaker for elementary school children.
“He is Minnesota basketball,” said John Sheehan, head coach at Lakeville South (Lakeville, Minn.). “He makes everyone who plays against him say, ‘Wow!’ He could go to any college and make them a contender. He’s the best kid I have ever seen play the game.”
THE FUTURE: Jones will begin his junior year of high school this fall.