High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Boys Basketball

Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year nominees

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:00
PM ET
A dozen exceptional student-athletes -- already honored as National Player of the Year in their respective sports -- are contenders for the 10th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award. On Tuesday in Los Angeles, one boy and one girl will be named prep sports’ Male and Female Athletes of the Year (ESPN3, 9:40 p.m. EDT), and both will be recognized at the ESPYS the following evening.

And the male nominees are (click here for the female nominees):

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HORSE: Jabari Parker vs. Alonzo Mourning

April, 13, 2012
4/13/12
6:16
PM ET


CHICAGO, Ill. -- Considering Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) rode Jabari Parker to its third consecutive Class 4A state championship this past season, it was only fitting Alonzo Mourning challenged Parker to a game of H.O.R.S.E. after surprising him with the news on Thursday that he is the fourth junior in history to claim Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors.

A seven-time NBA All-Star, Mourning defeated both 2009-10 winner Brandon Knight and 2010-11 winner Bradley Beal in the same competition at the previous two presentations, but unlike Parker he couldn't three-peat in Chicago.

"The boy ain't missing," said Mourning. "He got the jumper. I see why he got that award."

Once Parker finished Mourning off on a jump shot from the right baseline, H.O.R.S.E. to H.O.R., the former two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year challenged him again. "Let's run it back," he said.

Parker wasn't so forgiving the second time, sweeping the Olympic gold medalist -- H.O.R.S.E. to zilch -- on both right-handed and left-handed hook shots in the lane, a baseline jumper, a baby hook off the glass on the block and a 17-footer from the left elbow. Over the course of the contest, Parker put the full range of his scoring ability on display.

"The wheels are coming off," conceded Mourning before embracing Parker, turning to the small crowd in attendance, clapping and adding, "Give it up."

Add another title to the growing list of accomplishments for ESPNU's No. 1 ranked junior recruit.

Gatorade Boys Hoop Players of the Year

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:51
AM ET

Alabama Boys Hoop POY: Craig Sword

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:50
AM ET
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: Craig Sword

THE BASICS

School: Carver (Montgomery, Ala.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 183 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Sword led the Wolverines to a 29-3 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season. He amassed 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 61-56, title-clinching victory against Hazel Green (Ala.), capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors. A two-time returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, Sword averaged 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, five steals and four blocks per game. He shot 65 percent from the field, 52 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Academic excellence: Sword has maintained a 3.08 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to serving as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally at his church, multiple retirement facilities and field days for both elementary and middle school children. Sword has also donated his time on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of America and as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America campaign.

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Alaska Boys Hoop POY: Connor Devine

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:49
AM ET
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: Connor Devine

THE BASICS

School: Wasilla (Alaska)
Grade: Senior
Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-9

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Devine led the Warriors to a 23-4 record and third place in the Class 4A state tournament this past season. He averaged 20.1 points, 14.6 rebounds and 8.0 blocks per game. The Class 4A Player of the Year, Devine is also a two-time First Team All-State selection, and recorded eight triple-doubles this season.

Academic excellence: Devine has maintained a 3.77 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has served as a youth mentor and has volunteered locally on behalf of an area food bank.

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Arizona Boys Hoop POY: Tim Derksen

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:48
AM ET
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: Tim Derksen

THE BASICS

School: Amphitheater (Tucson, Ariz.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Point guard
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 185 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Derksen averaged 22.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game this past season, leading the Panthers (30-4) to the Division II state final. The 2011-12 Division II Arizona Basketball Coaches Association Co-Player of the Year, he helped Amphitheater to a 114-16 record as a four-year varsity starter.

Academic excellence: Derksen has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and basketball coach.

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Arkansas Boys Hoop POY: Archie Goodwin

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:47
AM ET
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.

Return of the POY, Archie Goodwin, Arkansas, Sylvan Hills
Steven Johnson/ESPNHSArchie Goodwin is the returning Gatorade Arkansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
THE WINNER: Archie Goodwin

THE BASICS

School: Sylvan Hills (Sherwood, Ark.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-5

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Goodwin led the Bears to a 27-5 record and the Class 5A state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, he averaged 25.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.2 assists per game. A three-time All-State honoree, Goodwin was selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American games. He is rated as the nation’s No. 15 recruit in the Class of 2012 by ESPNU.

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California Boys Hoop POY: Grant Jerrett

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:46
AM ET
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.

Gatorade POY, Grant Jerrett, California, Boys, Lutheran
Nick KozaGrant Jerrett is the No. 9 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.
THE WINNER: Grant Jerrett

THE BASICS

School: Lutheran (La Verne, Calif.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 220 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Jerrett averaged 22.3 points, 10 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game this past season, leading the Trojans (25-8) to the CIF Division IV Southern Section quarterfinals. A 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game invitee, he is the No. 9 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

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Colorado Boys Hoop POY: Josh Scott

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:45
AM ET
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.

Gatorade POY, Josh Scott, Colorado, Boys, Lewis-Palmer
Eric Bellamy/ESPNHSJosh Scott led Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.) to the Class 4A state title this past season.
THE WINNER: Josh Scott

THE BASICS

School: Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 220 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Scott led the Rangers to a 27-1 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season. He amassed 23 points and five rebounds in a 44-43, title-clinching victory against Sierra (Colorado Springs, Colo.), capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors. A returning Class 4A First Team All-State selection as named by The Denver Post, Scott averaged 28.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.2 assists per game. He shot 72.3 percent from the field and 75.8 percent from the free throw line.

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Connecticut Boys Hoop POY: Kris Dunn

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:44
AM ET
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.

Gatorade POY, boys, Kris Dunn, New London, Connecticut
Christopher Beauchamp/ESPNHSKris Dunn is the No. 24 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.
THE WINNER: Kris Dunn

THE BASICS

School: New London (Conn.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 185 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Dunn averaged 31.4 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks per game this past season, leading the Whalers (23-3) to the Class LL semifinals. A 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game invitee, he is the No. 24 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

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Delaware Boys Hoop POY: Eric Laster

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:43
AM ET
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: Eric Laster

THE BASICS

School: Polytech (Woodside, Del.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 195 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Laster averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three assists per game this past season, leading the Panthers (20-4) to the state tournament quarterfinals. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, he scored a game-high 15 points in a 55-36 win over Smyrna (Del.) to help Polytech capture the 2012 Henlopen Conference championship.

Academic excellence: Laster has maintained an 88.7 average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and the annual AIDS Walk Delaware.

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Florida Boys Hoop POY: Joel Berry

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:41
AM ET
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: Joel Berry

THE BASICS

School: Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Grade: Sophomore
Position: Point guard
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 195 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Berry averaged 23.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 3.1 assists per game this past season, leading the Highlanders to the Class 4A state final. The 2011 Winter Park Rotary Tip-Off Classic MVP, he averaged 26.6 points per game in the state tournament, including a game-high 26 in the state final against Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

Academic excellence: Berry has maintained a 3.27 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a peer leader in his school community in addition to donating his time as a youth basketball coach and camp counselor.

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Georgia Boys Hoop POY: Tony Parker

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:40
AM ET
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.

Gatorade POY, Tony Parker, Miller Grove, Georgia, boys
Ryan Gibson/ESPNHSTony Parker led Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) to the Class AAAA state title this past season.
THE WINNER: Tony Parker

THE BASICS

School: Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Power forward/center
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 270 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Parker led the Wolverines to a 23-9 record and the Class AAAA state championship this past season. He averaged 16.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and three blocks per game. A 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game invitee, Parker is the No. 21 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

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Hawaii Boys Hoop POY: DeForest Buckner

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:39
AM ET
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: DeForest Buckner

THE BASICS

School: Punahou School (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 250 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Buckner led the Buff N’ Blue to a 28-2 record and the Division I state championship this past season. He recorded 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in a 59-52, title-clinching victory against Kahuku (Hawaii), capturing tournament co-Most Valuable Player honors along with teammate Malik Johnson. A two-time returning All-State Fab 15 selection as named by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Buckner averaged 12.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.3 assists per game. He shot 67 percent from the field and 59 percent from the free throw line.

Academic excellence: Buckner has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Also a football standout, he has volunteered on behalf of the Special Olympics in addition to donating his time as a youth basketball and football instructor.

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Idaho Boys Hoop POY: Joey Nebeker

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:38
AM ET
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: Joey Nebeker

THE BASICS

School: Melba (Idaho)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 200 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Nebeker averaged 22.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, three steals, 2.7 blocks and 2.5 assists per game this past season, leading the Mustangs (16-6) to the third round of the Class 2A district tournament. The 2012 Western Idaho Conference co-Player of the Year, he helped Melba capture consecutive Class 2A state titles in 2010 and 2011.

Academic excellence: Nebeker has maintained a 3.96 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted parishioner of his church community, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor, on behalf of a literacy-outreach initiative and as part of multiple food and clothing drives for needy families.

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