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: Aguek Arop
School: Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Packers to a 28-1 record and the Class A state championship this past season. Arop collected 12 points, 11 rebounds and two steals in the 59-50, title-clinching win over Fremont, capturing All-Tournament honors. He averaged 15.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Arop shot 61.8 percent from the field. He missed the majority of his sophomore season due to a broken tibia.
Academic excellence: Arop has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: Also an accomplished pianist, he has volunteered on behalf of his church in addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor and peer tutor.
“He is a premier player in our state,” said Ben Ries, head coach at rival Norfolk High. “He overcame the challenge of a serious leg injury to help his team to the No. 1 seed in our state tournament. He is athletic, versatile and unselfish. I have appreciated watching his calm, confident demeanor during intense game action.”
THE FUTURE: Arop has verbally committed to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Nebraska in the fall of 2017.