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: Cody Kelley
School: Campbell County (Gillette, Wyo.)
Sport: Boys Basketball
Athletic Production: Kelley may be a 6-foot-4, 180-pound force, but folks around Wyoming might as well start calling him “Tiny.”
The state’s reigning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the year leads Wyoming’s Class 4A in both points (24.8) and assists (8.0) per game. To put those numbers in perspective, only one player in history, Nate “Tiny Archibald,” has ever led the NBA in both categories.
It’s been another efficient season for Kelley, who is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc and 73 percent from the free-throw line, leading the Camels to a 12-3 start this winter.
As a junior in 2012-13, he led the Camels to the Class 4A state semifinals while averaging 20.0 points and 6.9 assists per game.
Academic Achievement: Kelley has maintained an A average.
Exemplary Character: A devoted parishioner in his church community, Kelley has volunteered as part of multiple community-service initiatives in association with his youth group.