O’Gorman’s Matt Cartwright was named the 2016-17 Gatorade South Dakota Boys Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the first player from the Knights to be chosen.
The award recognizes both athletic and academic achievements. Cartwright is now eligible for the national award.
The 6-foot-5, 180-pound senior guard led the Knights to the Class AA state basketball championship. He averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists through 22 games. An All-City and All-Conference honoree, he also earned Second Team All-State recognition as a junior.
A devoted member of his church community, Cartwright has volunteered locally on behalf of Kids Against Hunger and youth basketball programs.
“Cartwright is a great shooter with a quick trigger, and he makes a lot of tough shots,” said Travis Engebretson, head coach at Brookings High. “He’s quite a competitor and he’s worked extremely hard to get to the level he plays at, game-in and game-out.”
Cartwright has maintained a 3.77 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Augustana University this fall.
Cartwright joins recent Gatorade South Dakota Boys Basketball Players of the Year Ty Hoglund (2015-16, Dell Rapids High School), Deng Geu (2014-15, Washington High School), Justin Decker (2013-14, Huron High School), Zach Hanson (2012-13 & 2011-12, TF Riggs High School), Zach Horstman (2010-11, Winner High School), Jared Hannigan (2009-10, Central High School), Tony Fiegen (2008-09, Madison High School), Louie Krogman (2007-08, White River High School), and Dale Moss (2006–07, Brandon Valley High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Matt will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
2016-17 GATORADE S.D. PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
§ Football: Spencer Neugebauer, Mitchell
§ Volleyball: Sami Slaughter, Harrisburg
§ Girls XC: Laura Nelson, Gayville-Volin
§ Boys XC: Derick Peters, West Central