Gatorade Players of the Year Announced
The Gatorade Player of the Year program which recognizes elite student-athletes in every state and major sport has announced their winners in boy’s basketball.
The selection process for the state player of the year award is administered by ESPN RISE, who works in collaboration with the Gatorade Company to choose each recipient. The award’s stated purpose is to recognize, celebrate, and honor the nation’s most outstanding high school talents for their athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character.
Nate Lubick took player of the year honors in Massachusetts for the second straight year. The St. Mark’s senior fought off some lingering injuries in the first half of the season to lead his team back to the NEPSAC Class C finals. He committed to Georgetown last year but had recruitment from a wide range of the top academic high major schools in the country including places like Stanford and Michigan.
Stratford High School’s Brandon Sherrod took the award in Connecticut. An honor roll student, Sherrod has dominated inside the paint this year with his ability to score, rebound, and block shots and has Stratford competing for their second state championship in the last three years in this Saturday’s final.
Brewster Academy took another honor in New Hampshire as Melvin Ejim was named the Player of the Year in the state. Ejim was a bit of an unsung hero this year as he came off the bench providing a defensive stopper and sacrificed a good deal of his own offense for the team’s success. Ejim committed to Iowa State but also had recruitment from a variety of Ivy League programs because of his success in the classroom.
Falmouth High School’s Stephano Mancini took the award in the state of Maine as the senior sniper was one of the top scorers in the state as well as a top notch student in the classroom. Mancini scored a game high 27 points in the Maine Class B state championship game, leading Falmouth to the title in a win over Camden Hills.
It came as no surprise that Joe OShea was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Vermont as O’Shea was the consensus player of the year and also a top notch student who had a variety of Ivy League recruitment before ultimately deciding on Holy Cross earlier this fall.
The only non-senior to win the award in New England was Michael Carter-Williams who took the honors in Rhode Island. After missing the first half of the season with injury, Carter-Williams came back in style, earning all tournament recognition at the Finlay Toyota Classic in first two games back. The Syracuse bound guard put up huge numbers throughout the rest of the season and led St. Andrew’s to the semi-finals of the NEPSAC Class B Tournament.
Lubick, Sherrod, Ejim, Mancini, O’Shea, and Carter-Williams join some of the top players from around the country in earning Gatorade State Player of the Year honors including Kyrie Irving (New Jersey), Harrison Barnes (Iowa), Brandon Knight (Florida), Tobias Harris (New York), Joe Jackson (Tennessee), Reggie Bullock (North Carolina), and Josh Hairston (Maryland).