The caliber of athletes honored by Gatorade with its High School Athlete of the Year Awards has been quite impressive since the awards were introduced in 1986. Names like Lebron James and Peyton Manning show up on the banners honoring past winners, and this year’s NBA Draft saw the two previous winners for the men’s High School Athlete of the Year Award, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, going first and second in the draft.
We had the opportunity to meet both of these young talents as we covered the awards over the past several years, along with female standouts like Breanna Stewart who has already won two National Championships at UConn in her first two years there! We were back this year for the awards ceremony on Tuesday night to see hoops standout Karl Towns Jr. receive the honor as the top high school male athlete and Brianna Turner receive the honor for top female athlete.
We met Jabari Parker earlier this year when we were invited to cover the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards. As a junior, the talented young man was named the top high school basketball player in the country, and he was one of the most prized recruits heading into this season. I interviewed him as you can see above, and I jokingly tried to convince him to pick Ohio State, but it looks like he’ll be heading to Duke. Check out the entire interview, as he’s a fine young man. Duke fans will probably love him.
We’ve been watching the Olympic trials, so we’re looking forward to the London games. The swimming and track events will be intense. Frankly, it’s also a good motivator for all of us to get off the couch and work on our own fitness.
Here’s a cool video from Gatorade that tracks Hope Solo on her journey to the Olympic games.