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: Ben Shungu
School: Rice Memorial (South Burlington, Vt.)
Weight: 200 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Green Knights to a 20-4 record and the Division 1 state championship game this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Shungu averaged 21.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals per game. The USA TODAY American Family Insurance ALL-USA Vermont Player of the Year, he was also the Metro League Player of the Year and was selected Mr. Basketball by the Burlington Free Press.
Academic excellence: Shungu has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: A peer mentor in his school, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs.
“Shungu just does everything well,” said Sol Bayer-Pacht, head coach at South Burlington High. “He’s very active on both ends of the floor and he’s so good at taking what the defense gives him. No one in the state can check him man-to-man, but if you double-team him, he’ll get someone else a layup.”
THE FUTURE: Shungu will attend the University of Vermont this fall, where he will play basketball.