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.
Senior Guard, Mt. Mansfield Union High (Jericho, VT)
2011-12 Team record: 23-1
2011-12 Team standing: Won Div. I state title
2011-12 Points per game: 15.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.5
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.8
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.4
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Team-high 11 points, 10 rebounds in state final; Second four-year starter in program history.
Matt St. Amour
Junior Guard, Missisquoi Valley Union High (Swanton, VT)
2011-12 Team record: 11-10
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in first round of state tournament
2011-12 Points per game: 26.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 12.8
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.8
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.1
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.7
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen; Lake Division Player of the Year; School record 1,388 career points
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.
Chad Copeland: Senior Forward, Twinfield Union High (Plainfield, VT)
Casey Tipson: Junior Guard, Rice Memorial High (South Burlington, VT)
Eric Suder: Senior Center, Mt. Mansfield Union High (Jericho, VT)
Andrew Shuman: Junior Center, Websterville Baptist Christian (Websterville, VT)
Marcus Willingham: Junior Forward, Rice Memorial High (South Burlington, VT)
Shep Carter: Junior Guard, Vergennes Union High (Vergennes, VT)
Pavin Parrish: Sophomore Guard, Rochester High (Rochester, VT)
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.