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
School: Melba (Idaho)
Weight: 200 pounds
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.
“Joey Nebeker has been the most impressive player in our district for the past few seasons,” said Drew Hellwege, head coach at Nampa Christian (Nampa, Idaho). “Even this season when our league was packed full of very good talent, he really stood out. As all good defensive big men do, he didn’t block every shot but he made other players think he was going to.”
THE FUTURE: Nebeker has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Boise State University this fall.