• 19-MAR-2019

JAMES WISEMAN NAMED 2018-19 GATORADE® NATIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

 
Memphis, Tenn. [March 19, 2019] – In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced James Wiseman of Memphis East High School in Memphis, Tenn. as the 2018-19 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Wiseman won the award for his accomplishments on and off the court, joining a group of former Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year awardees that have gone on to have incredible success. In fact, the group has combined for five NBA MVPs, 65 All-Star appearances and 25 winners were NBA first-round draft picks.
 
Wiseman was presented with the award at his school among teammates, friends, family and coaches by Memphis Grizzlies power forward Jaren Jackson Jr.
 
“With this award, it’s not just about your accomplishments on the court, you have to be just as successful in the classroom and also set an example in your community,” said Jackson Jr. “Not only is James Wiseman a standout athlete, but he’s also an exceptional student and a positive influence in the community who will go on to accomplish great things on and off the court.” 
 
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 Wiseman as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Wiseman from more than half a million high school boys basketball players nationwide. Wiseman is now a finalist for the most prestigious award in high school sports, the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, which is announced at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
 
“A seven-footer with a 7-foot-6 wingspan and a standing reach nearly two feet higher than that, James Wiseman protects the rim, rebounds and finishes plays in the paint,” said Paul Biancardi of ESPN Basketball. “He’s has blossomed as an offensive player, improving his skill set and drive game while stretching his range to the 3-point line. As a lefty post, his signature move is a jump hook over the right shoulder, a weapon that, along with everything else, enables him to dominate games. He’s also an excellent student and a model citizen in his community.”
 
The senior center led the Mustangs to a 26-9 record and the Class AAA state tournament final. Wiseman averaged 25.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.4 blocks per game with a 69.6 true shooting percentage. The Class AAA Mr. Basketball winner, Wiseman is ranked as the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2019 by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. He will participate in the 2019 Nike Hoop Summit in Oregon next month.
 
Wiseman has volunteered locally at the Big River Crossing Marathon to benefit a youth tutoring and mentoring program. He has also donated his time with Habitat for Humanity and as a youth basketball coach.
 
While balancing his volunteer activities and basketball, Wiseman has also maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Memphis beginning this fall.
 
“Since the program’s inception in 1985, alumni across all sports have included more than 70 future first round draft picks and 30 All-Stars as well as a number of Hall of Famers,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “That’s how high the bar was set for James, which is what makes Gatorade Player of the Year the most prestigious award in high school sports.”
 
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Wiseman has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year. 
 
Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year.
 
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns, Derek Jeter and many other sports icons. To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
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PREVIOUS GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS
 
Year
Winner
High School
Status
2017-18
R.J. Barrett Jr.
Montverde Academy
Duke University
2016-17
Michael Porter Jr.
Nathan Hale High School
Denver Nuggets
2015-16
Jayson Tatum
Chaminade College Preparatory
Boston Celtics
2014-15
Ben Simmons
Montverde Academy
Philadelphia 76ers
2013-14
Karl-Anthony Towns
St. Joseph High School
Minnesota Timberwolves
2012-13
Andrew Wiggins
St. Joseph’s Central Catholic High School
Minnesota Timberwolves
2011-12
Jabari Parker
Simeon Career Academy
Washington Wizards
2010-11         
Bradley Beal     
Chaminade College Preparatory
Washington Wizards
2009-10
Brandon Knight
Pine Crest School
Cleveland Cavaliers
2008-09
Brandon Knight
Pine Crest School
Cleveland Cavaliers
2007-08
Jrue Holiday
Campbell Hall High School
New Orleans Pelicans
2006-07
Kevin Love
Lake Oswego High School
Cleveland Cavaliers
2005-06
Greg Oden
Lawrence North High School
Retired Pro
2004-05
Greg Oden
Lawrence North High School
Retired Pro
2003-04
Dwight Howard
SW Atlanta Christian Academy
Washington Wizards
2002-03
LeBron James
St, Vincent-St. Mary High School
Los Angeles Lakers
2001-02
LeBron James
St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
Los Angeles Lakers
2000-01
Kelvin Torbert
Northwestern Edison High School
Retired Pro
1999-00
Jared Jeffries
North High School
Retired Pro
1998-99
LaVell Blanchard
Pioneer High School
Retired Pro
1997-98
Al Harrington
St. Patrick High School
Retired Pro
1996-97
Baron Davis
Crossroads High School
Retired Pro
1995-96
Kobe Bryant
Lower Merion High School
Retired Pro
1994-95
Stephon Marbury
Abraham Lincoln High School
Retired Pro
1993-94
Felipe Lopez
Rice High School
Retired Pro
1992-93
Randy Livingston
Isidore Newman School
Retired Pro
1991-92
Corliss Williamson
Russellville High School
Phoenix Suns Staff
1990-91
Chris Webber
Detroit Country Day High School
Retired Pro
1989-90
Damon Bailey
Bedford North Lawrence High School
Retired Pro
1988-89
Kenny Anderson
Archbishop Molloy High School
Retired Pro
1987-88
Alonzo Mourning
Indian River High School
Retired Pro
1986-87
LaBradford Smith
Bay City High School
Retired Pro
1985-86
J.R. Reid
Kempsville High School
Monmouth University Staff