For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Joshua Ko
School: Kalaheo (Kailua, Hawaii)
Weight: 150 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Mustangs (19-3) to the Division I state championship this past season. Ko averaged 11.9 points, 4.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, shooting 58 percent from the field, 49 percent from 3-point range and 70 percent from the free throw line. In a 60-54 title-clinching victory against Maryknoll (Honolulu, Hawaii), Ko totaled 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting and added three assists, capturing state tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for the second consecutive season. He led Kalaheo to the 2012 Division II state championship as a junior.
Academic excellence: Ko has maintained a 3.57 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered as a fundraiser for his school’s athletic program, as part of multiple community clean-up efforts and as a motivational speaker to middle school students.
“His growth from junior to senior year impressed me most,” said Nathan Davis, head coach of rival Kalani (Honolulu, Hawaii). “As a junior, he was more of a spot-up shooter with great range, but as a senior he became a steady ball-handler capable of bringing the ball up against pressure. He was also able to create his own shot off the dribble, which prevented defenses from crowding him or simply chasing him off the 3-point line. Against zones, he also played the role of high-post facilitator, passing and shooting from the elbow. Defensively, he played with more passion and swagger, the way a three-year starter would.”
THE FUTURE: Ko remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.