Gatorade announces Players of the Year 2019
CHICAGO (March 15, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced their 2018-19 Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in all 50 states.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes each player as the best in their respective state.
In New England, the winners were Woodstock Academy's Tre Mitchell, Northfield Mount Hermon's Chris Ledlum, Bangor's Matthew Fleming, St. George's Tyler Kolek, Rutland's Jamison Evans, and Spaulding's Arie Breakfield.
Mitchell is the first Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from The Woodstock Academy. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound senior center led the Centaurs to a 39-2 record and the quarterfinals of the National Prep Championship this past season. Mitchell averaged 16.6 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 blocks per game. A two-time Power 5 Conference AAA Player of the Year, he has twice been named Hoophall Classic MVP and is ranked as the nation’s No.72 recruit in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com.
Mitchell has volunteered locally on behalf of the YMCA and climate change awareness initiatives. “Tre Mitchell is an excellent basketball player,” said Tristan Wilchcombe, head coach at Redemption Christian Academy. “He’s got soft hands and a good touch, and he can play an old-school game, with his back to the basket. He’s very consistent on the court and he’s a very smart kid.”
Mitchell has maintained an A average in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Ledlum is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Northfield Mount Hermon School. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound senior forward led the Hoggers to a 32-6 record and the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class AAA Tournament championship this past season. Ledlum averaged 25.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. A transfer from St. Peter’s High in New York City, he set Northfield Mount Hermon records for points in a game with 51, and points in a season with 939.
Ledlum has volunteered locally at Northfield Mount Hermon’s Bolger Center for Early Childhood Education and as a youth basketball coach. “Chris is the most impactful player I have seen during my time at Cushing,” said James Cormier, head coach of Cushing Academy. “He takes over games on a consistent basis against some of the best schools in the country.”
Ledlum has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. He has made a verbal commitment to attend Harvard University, where he will play basketball this fall.
Breakfield is the first Gatorade New Hampshire Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Spaulding High School. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound senior forward averaged 17.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks per game this past season, leading the Red Raiders (17-6) to the Division I state tournament quarterfinals. Breakfield is this season's New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization's Mr. New Hampshire Basketball winner and the Division I Player of the Year. A four-year starter for Spaulding, he concluded his prep basketball career with 1,340 points.
A member of the Spaulding High Leadership Team, Breakfield is a two-year class president. He has volunteered locally with the Rochester Recreation Department and as a youth basketball coach. "Arie is an all-court player who can score in multiple ways," said Nate Stanton, head coach of Londonderry High. "He's athletic and a tough matchup both outside and inside. He does a lot of the little things to get his team in position to win."
Breakfield has maintained a 3.76 GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state's top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award's broad criteria. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Kolek is the first Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from St. George's School. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior guard averaged 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.5 steals per game this past season, leading the Dragons (16-9) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class B Tournament quarterfinals. A transfer from Cumberland High, where he was an All-State selection a year ago, Kolek was the MVP of the Independent School League and a NEPSAC Class B All-Star this season.
Kolek has volunteered locally with the Boys and Girls Club and as a youth basketball coach. "Tyler Kolek is a stud," said Lamar Reddicks, head coach of Milton Academy. "He can score at all three levels. He's a very dangerous shooter with an extremely quick release. The bigger the game, the better he played."
Kolek has maintained a B average in the classroom and represents one of the state's top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award's broad criteria. He will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
Evans is the first Gatorade Vermont Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Rutland High School. The 6-foot-3, 165-pound senior guard/forward had led the Raiders to a 19-4 record and a berth in the Division I state finals at the time of his selection. Evans averaged 23.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists through 23 games. A Burlington Free Press First Team All-State selection, he was also named to the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen, and was USA TODAY's ALL-USA Vermont Player of the Year as a junior.
Evans has volunteered locally as an athlete partner for a Special Olympics Unified Sports team as well as on behalf of youth basketball programs. "Jamison Evans is a special player," said Eric Green, head coach at Burr and Burton Academy. "He's very well-rounded—a great shooter, strong to the rim, runs the floor well, and he's an above-average defender."
Evans has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Lynn University in Florida this fall.
Fleming is the first Gatorade Maine Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bangor High School. The 6-foot-6, 195-pound senior forward and guard led the Rams to a 20-2 record and the Class AA state championship this past season. Fleming averaged 21.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. This year's Mr. Maine Basketball, he is also a two-time First Team All-State honoree and a three-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference First Team selection.
Fleming has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics as part of a Unified Sports basketball program. "Matt Fleming is a tough matchup for anyone," said Ryan Soucie, head coach at Cheverus High. "He's very skilled, he can play both inside and outside and he has a high basketball IQ."
Fleming has maintained a 3.59 GPA in the classroom. He will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point this fall, where he will play basketball.