The window on the Gatorade Iowa Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our USA TODAY team that administers the program’s selection process.
Senior guard/forward, Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Nearly two years removed from a serious knee injury, Jok has flourished in his senior year, leading all Class 4A scorers with 24.5 points per game. He has connected on better than 50 percent of his shots from the floor (147-290 FG), including 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.
2012-13 Team record: 17-3 (Class 4A)
2012-13 Team standing: First place in Central Iowa Metro Conference
2012-13 Points per game: 24.5
2012-13 Rebounds per game: 6.3
2012-13 Assists per game: 1.8
2012-13 Steals per game: 1.8
Collegiate destination: Iowa
Sophomore guard, Sioux City North (Iowa)
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Just a sophomore, Tillo ranks second in all of Class 4A in total points (428) and first in total rebounds (232).
2012-13 Team record: 17-2 (Class 4A)
2012-13 Team standing: Second place in Missouri River Conference
2012-13 Points per game: 22.5
2012-13 Rebounds per game: 9.1
2012-13 Assists per game: 3.1
2012-13 Steals per game: 1.9
Collegiate destination: Undecided
Make no mistake, the Gatorade Iowa Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2012-13 campaign.
Terrance Busch: Junior guard, North (Des Moines, Iowa)
Marcel Dunson: Senior forward, East (Sioux City, Iowa)
T.J. Lake: Senior guard, Western Dubuque (Epworth, Iowa)