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: Alex Poythress
School: Northeast (Clarksville, Tenn.)
Weight: 225 pounds
Athletic achievement: Poythress averaged 28.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game this past season, leading the Eagles (28-3) to the Class AAA, Region 5 tournament quarterfinals. A McDonald’s All-American Game selection, he was the state’s 2012 Class AAA Mr. Basketball and a two-time Class 10-AAA District Player of the Year. Poythress concluded his prep basketball career with 2,065 points.
Academic excellence: Poythress has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Technical Honor Society, he has volunteered locally as a mentor to Northeast High freshmen, as a mentor and aide to a special-needs student and as a youth basketball coach.
“Alex Poythress is phenomenal. I have been coaching for 17 years and he is the best player my teams have ever faced,” said Johnny Jackson, head coach at Rossview (Clarksville, Tenn.). “He is so strong. He can put it on the floor, shoot the 3-ball. He elevates so quickly and so high. He is an NBA lottery pick in two years.”
THE FUTURE: Poythress has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kentucky beginning this fall.