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: Mitch Lightfoot
School: Gilbert Christian (Gilbert, Ariz.)
Weight: 220 pounds
Athletic achievement: He averaged 22.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game while shooting 65 percent from inside the arc this past season, leading the Knights (21-6) to the second round of the Division II state tournament. A 2015 First Team All-State selection, Lightfoot scored at least 20 points in 18 games this season, including a 30-point effort in a 73-45 win over Seton Catholic in the Division II Section VI semifinal.
Academic excellence: Lightfoot has maintained a 3.73 GPA.
Exemplary character: An avid fisherman, he has volunteered locally on behalf of an assisted living facility and as a mentor for students at an elementary charter school.
“I have known Mitch Lightfoot since his middle school days and am definitely a fan of his, except when he plays against us,” said Catalina Foothills High head coach Doug D’Amore. “We saw a lot of great teams but no player was as valuable and talented as him. I believe what separates him from all the other candidates is his character and academic focus that makes him a complete student-athlete.”
THE FUTURE: Lightfoot has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Kansas this fall.