From many, there will be one. Thousands of worthy contenders have been boiled down to 51 state winners. From that number, the most elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Cypress Lakes (Texas)
Greatness Present: Kentucky basketball fans were nearly inconsolable after the Wildcats were ousted far earlier than usual from this year’s NCAA tournament.
Those who didn’t throw a size 13 Nike through the flat screen in the closing moments of Kentucky’s loss to Indiana, however, can soon get a glimpse of the bright future.
De’Aaron Fox, this seaon’s Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Player of the Year, still has a few high-profile games as a high-schooler left before he becomes John Calipari’s next great point guard.
Nicknamed “the General” by Calipari because “everybody wanted to go to war with him,” Fox has been selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game (March 30), the Nike Hoop Summit (April 9) and the Jordan Brand Classic (April 15).
The 6-foot-4 guard headlines the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, heading to Lexington alongside fellow Gatorade State winners Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo. He averaged 32.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game for Cypress Lakes this season, topping 40 points eight times, and scoring 50—including 10 buckets from 3-point land—in a win over rival Cypress Woods.
Fox, though, is also arguably the top defensive guard in the Class of 2016, utilizing a quickness frequently compared with that of current Washington Wizard and former Kentucky Wildcat John Wall—who managed to take in a Cypress Lakes game this year when the Wizards were in Houston.
Ranked as the No. 2 overall recruit in his class by 247Sports, Fox joins a long list of top-ranked point guards to heed the call of Calipari, following Derrick Rose, Wall, Marquis Teague, Andrew Harrison and Jamal Murray.
Fox might not give Big Blue Nation the same euphoria as a national championship run, but he can probably wipe away some of their collective tears.
Greatness Past: Fox averaged 23.8 points per game as a junior, leading Cy Lakes to the regional tournament. He had his first 50-plus game as a freshman, dropping 51 in a two-point win over Nimitz.
Greatness Future: Fox has signed a Letter of Intent with Kentucky.
The Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year races have just been completed, and the National POY race is down to the wire. Check back for updates on the ultimate winner.