THE WINNER: J.T. Gibson
School: Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement: He averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game this past season, leading the Rebels (31-1) to the Class AAAA state championship game. The Metro Player of the Year as named by the Star Tribune, Gibson shot 54.5 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from 3-point range and 84.9 percent from the free-throw line. In six postseason games, he averaged 15.7 points, 5.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals, capturing Class AAAA All-Tournament honors.
Academic excellence: Gibson has maintained a 3.23 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered on behalf of his church, Feed My Starving Children and the Rites of Passage community-service organization for Minneapolis boys and girls. In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has also participated in a literacy-outreach program for local school children.
“Gibson is one heck of a player on one of the best high school boys’ basketball teams ever in the state of Minnesota,” said Grant Guzy, head coach of rival Spring Lake Park High. “J.T. is the ultimate competitor, who refuses to let his team lose and comes ready to play, night in and night out, no matter who the opponent is. He is a very skilled player on both ends of the court. He is also a very unselfish player, who keeps his teammates involved.”
THE FUTURE: Gibson has signed with Nebraska Omaha.