High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Malik Morgan

Eye on POY: Louisiana boys basketball

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
4:47
PM ET
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.

Return of the POY, Ricardo Gathers, Louisiana, Riverside Academy
Andrew Shurtleff/ESPNHSRicardo Gathers is the returning Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Ricardo Gathers
Senior power forward, Riverside Academy
(Reserve, La.)

2011-12 Team record: 33-10 (Class 2A)
2011-12 Team standing: Lost Class 2A state final to John Curtis, 57-48

2011-12 Points per game: 20.2
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 17.0
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.1
2011-12 Blocks per game: 4.1
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.1

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Baylor University

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Amassed 18 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out of the 57-48 state championship loss to Curtis. Faced five teams currently ranked on the ESPNHS FAB 50, averaging 18.2 points. Recorded 18.4 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League's Peach Jam this past summer. 2010-11 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year. No. 35 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2011 Mr. Basketball selection as named by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. 2011 Player of the Year as named by The Times-Picayune. 2010 and 2011 Class 2A Player of the Year as named by the LSWA. 2010 and 2011 Class 2A state championship game Most Valuable Player. 2010 and 2011 Class 2A state champion. 2009 Class C state champion. 2009 Class C state championship game MVP.

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