The Gatorade State Boys Basketball Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 fall season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Kamaka Hepa
School: Barrow (Alaska)
Weight: 210 pounds
Athletic achievement: He had led the Whalers to a 22-4 record and a berth in the Class 3A state quarterfinals at the time of his selection. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Hepa is averaging 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 2.8 assists per game. He was a First Team All-State honoree and was selected to the USA TODAY American Family Insurance ALL-USA Alaska First Team as a freshman.
Academic excellence: Hepa has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church youth group, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs.
“Hepa impacts the game in so many ways, and he’s a great team guy,” said Frank Ostanik, head coach at Monroe Catholic High. “You have to guard him out to the 3-point line, and if you double him, he has extraordinary vision and easily finds his teammates. I rarely ever see him take a bad shot.”
THE FUTURE: Hepa will begin his junior year of high school this fall.