THE WINNER: Ryan Jones
School: Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Position: Shooting guard
Weight: 165 pounds
Athletic achievement: He averaged 21 and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from 3-point range this past season, leading the Storm (28-3) to the Class 6A state final. A two-time First Team All-State selection and the 2015 Class 6A co-Player of the Year, Jones scored a game-high 24 points in a double-overtime, 81-77 won over Sandia in the state quarterfinals.
Academic excellence: Jones has maintained a 3.19 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, as a mentor for elementary school children and as a youth basketball coach.
“Ryan Jones is the most talented and gifted basketball player in New Mexico this year,” said Joe Coleman, head coach at Valley High. “He is capable of taking over a game at any time. He is such a good teammate he often does his job as a guard and tries to get everyone involved in the game.”
THE FUTURE: Jones has signed with UMass Lowell.