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: Jerrick Harding
School: Wichita Southeast (Wichita, Kan.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement: He averaged 27.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 assists per game this past season, leading the Golden Buffaloes (20-5) to the Class 6A state championship game. A returning Class 6A Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, Harding shot 54.3 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from 3-point range and 83.9 percent from the free-throw line. His 103 points in three state tournament games set a Class 6A postseason scoring record.
Academic excellence: Harding has maintained a 3.32 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of the YMCA.
“As a freshman, Jerrick stood out above the rest, even the upperclassmen,” said Wichita Southeast head coach Melvin Herring. “Jerrick’s (basketball) IQ and playing style for the game early on got him on varsity as a starter, and he continued that throughout his high school career, as he scored more than 1,600 points to become one of the top scorers in the history of the city league. Jerrick’s scoring ability and skill level bring spectators to see the show. His character and respect for not only the game of basketball, but whomever he encounters, has been above what any coach or program would love their kids to display.”
THE FUTURE: Harding remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.