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Friday, March 16, 2012
Eye on POY: Massachusetts boys basketball

By Eric Snyder

The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Rene Castro
Junior guard, Worcester Academy (Worcester, Mass.)

2011-12 Team record: 15-11
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in New England Prep School Athletic Council Class AA quarterfinals

2011-12 Points per game: 23.4
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 3.4
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.1
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.6

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: HS junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation:  BCD Holiday Hoops Tournament MVP; National Prep Showcase All-Tournament Team

Andrew Chrabascz
Junior forward, Cushing Academy (Ashburnham, Mass.)

2011-12 Team record: 20-7
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in New England Prep School Athletic Council Class B quarterfinals

2011-12 Points per game: 17.0
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.0
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.2
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.4

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: HS junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Team MVP; 20-plus Division I scholarship offers

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Jaylen Brantley: Junior guard, Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Wilbraham, Mass.)
Aaron Calixte: Junior guard, Stoughton (Mass.)
Jake Layman: Senior forward, King Philip (Wrentham, Mass.)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.