Gatorade(R) National Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Brandon Knight
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 23 /PRNewswire/ — In its 25th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Brandon Knight of Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) as its 2009-10 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Knight was surprised with the news during his second period class at Pine Crest School by former Miami Heat Center Alonzo Mourning, who earned Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors in 1987-88.
“When I received this award in 1988, it was a really significant moment for me, so it felt great to surprise Brandon with the news and invite him into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports,” said Mourning, a Gold Medalist, seven-time NBA All-Star, and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. “Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids.”
Knight becomes the first-ever student athlete from the state of Florida to repeat as Gatorade National Player of the Year in any sport. He joins 2009 NBA MVP LeBron James (2002-03 & 2001-02, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Akron, Ohio) and 2007 NBA Draft Number One Overall Pick Greg Oden (2005-06 & 2004-05, Lawrence North, Indianapolis, Ind.) as the only student-athletes to win Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors in consecutive seasons. He is also Florida’s first boys basketball player ever to repeat as Gatorade State Player of the Year.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Knight as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Knight from more than 545,000 high school boys basketball players nationwide. Knight is now once again a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior guard led the Panthers (25-5) to the Class 3A state title game this past season, averaging 31.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.5 steals while shooting at 82.4 percent (220-for-267) from the free throw line. The 2008-09 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Knight is a 2010 McDonald’s All-American and 2010 Jordan Brand Classic All-American. He is also a member of the 2010 USA Basketball Junior Select National Team and was a 2010 Naismith Award finalist. The owner of eight Pine Crest School records, Knight finished his prep career ranked second on the state’s all-time scoring list with 3,515 points and is the first-ever four-time Class 3A-2A-1A Player of the Year as named by the Sun-Sentinel. He led Pine Crest to four state title games, helping to capture back-to-back crowns in 2008 and 2009.
Knight has maintained a 4.30 weighted GPA in the classroom. An active member of his church community, he has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and peer tutor.
“Brandon is an exceptional young man–bright, articulate and one of the few teens who could attend university in the country whether he played basketball or not,” said National Director of ESPN Recruiting for basketball Paul Biancardi. “On the court, he’s an outstanding scoring point guard who thrives in the transition game. In the half-court setting, Knight is as dangerous as they come with the ball in his hands. He has a quick first step to the basket and deceptive speed. He’s excellent at finishing with contact or seeing the assist. Knight has really improved his 3-point shooting over the course of his career, but what’s truly impressive about him is his unselfishness on the basketball court in spite of his ability to score. He’s a team leader in every sense of the word and an extremely focused player. One of the most important qualities for a point guard is a strong mental makeup and he has very few mental lapses during the game, which separates him from his peers.”
Knight remains undecided upon a college destination, but is expected to announce his choice in April.
“Without question, Brandon is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player based on his statistics on the court and the impact his accomplishments have had on Pine Crest’s success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms. “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
To celebrate the award’s 25th anniversary, Gatorade wants you to vote for the All-Time Greatest Boys Basketball Player of the Year at www.gatorade.com/POY25. To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS Brandon Pine Crest School/Fort 2009-10 Knight Lauderdale, FL High School Senior Brandon Pine Crest School/Fort 2008-09 Knight Lauderdale, FL High School Senior Campbell Hall/North 2007-08 Jrue Holiday Hollywood, CA Philadelphia 76ers Minnesota 2006-07 Kevin Love Lake Oswego/Lake Oswego, OR Timberwolves Lawrence North/Indianapolis, Portland Trail 2005-06 Greg Oden IN Blazers Lawrence North/Indianapolis, Portland Trail 2004-05 Greg Oden IN Blazers Dwight SW Atlanta Christian Academy/ 2003-04 Howard Atlanta, GA Orlando Magic St. Vincent-St. Mary/Akron, Cleveland 2002-03 LeBron James OH Cavaliers St. Vincent-St. Mary/Akron, Cleveland 2001-02 LeBron James OH Cavaliers Kelvin Michigan State 2000-01 Torbert Northwestern Edison/Flint, MI Univ. Grad. Jared 1999-00 Jeffries North/Bloomington, IN Houston Rockets LaVell Univ. of Michigan 1998-99 Blanchard Pioneer/Ann Arbor, MI Grad. Al 1997-98 Harrington St. Patrick/Elizabeth, NJ New York Knicks Los Angeles 1996-97 Baron Davis Crossroads/Santa Monica, CA Clippers 1995-96 Kobe Bryant Lower Merion/Ardmore, PA Los Angeles Lakers Stephon 1994-95 Marbury Abraham Lincoln/Brooklyn, NY Former NBA Player Gaiteros del Zulia 1993-94 Felipe Lopez Rice/New York, NY (CBA) Randy Isidore Newman School/New 1992-93 Livingston Orleans, LA Retired from NBA Corliss 1991-92 Williamson Russellville/Russellville, AR Retired from NBA Detroit County Day/ 1990-91 Chris Webber Birmingham, MI Retired from NBA Bedford North Lawrence/ 1989-90 Damon Bailey Bedford, IN Retired from NBA Kenny 1988-89 Anderson Archbishop Molloy/Jamaica, NY Retired from NBA Alonzo 1987-88 Mourning Indian River/Chesapeake, VA Retired from NBA LaBradford 1986-87 Smith Bay City/Bay City, TX Retired from NBA 1985-86 J.R. Reid Kempsville/Virginia Beach, VA Retired from NBA
SOURCE The Gatorade Company