Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Luke Stratman
School: D’Evelyn (Denver, Colo.)
Sport: Boys basketball
Athletic Production: The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior guard averaged 27.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game this past season, leading the Jaguars to the Class 4A state quarterfinals, where they eventually fell to Broomfield (Colo.), 84-65. A returning Class 4A First Team All-State selection as named by The Denver Post, he scored a season-high 53 points in his first game of the season — a 99-55 win over Northridge (Greeley, Colo.) — and eclipsed 30 points on nine occasions this winter, including four consecutive games from Dec. 14 to Jan. 9.
Despite reported basketball offers from a number of Division I programs in Colorado, Stratman signed a baseball scholarship with Washington State.
Academic Achievement: He has maintained an A average.
Exemplary Character: Also a football and golf standout, he has volunteered locally at an orphanage, on behalf of his church’s youth group, as a youth basketball instructor and as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.