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: Marcus Smart
School: Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
Weight: 215 pounds
Athletic achievement: Smart led the Marauders to a 39-2 record and a second-straight Class 5A state championship this past season. The returning Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year, he averaged 15.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.3 blocks per game, and he took 43 charges. A McDonald’s All-American Game selection, Smart was the 2011 Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 5A Player of the Year.
Academic excellence: Smart has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Black History Club, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school mentor and tutor and as a youth basketball coach.
“Marcus Smart is a leader on and off the court and has one of the best attitudes I’ve ever seen in a high school player,” said Henry Thomas, head coach at Flower Mound (Texas). “What makes him so good to me is the fact that he seems to always be involved in every play, offensive or defensive. He seems to always be around the ball.”
THE FUTURE: Smart has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Oklahoma State University beginning this fall.