From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Karl Towns Jr.
Senior center, Saint Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.)
Greatness Present: A double-double is a good night for most players, but for Towns it’s considered a disappointment.
During one January stretch, the 7-foot-1 senior sandwiched two triple-doubles around his second career quadruple-double—20 points, 14 rebounds, 12 blocks and 10 assists in a win over Woodbridge (N.J.).
Towns has averaged 22.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 7.2 blocks and 5.1 assists per game, leading his Falcons to an 18-1 start. Ranked as the nation’s No. 9 senior recruit by ESPN, he was selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game and even took time out to win the dunk contest at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Greatness Past: The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year averaged 21.7 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.8 blocks as a junior. Towns also played for University of Kentucky coach John Calipari on the Dominican Republic National Team as a 16-year-old.
Greatness Future: Towns has signed to play for Calipari at Kentucky.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.