The selections for Gatorade Player of the Year honors for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., were released Thursday, and several familiar names were on the list.
Starting close to home, Madison Central star Dominique Hawkins was named Kentucky’s Gatorade Player of the Year after leading the Indians to their first Sweet Sixteen championship in school history. Hawkins is now being recruited by Kentucky, which is waiting to see how its scholarship situation for next season works out before extending an offer.
Hawkins already has offers from South Carolina, Murray State, Morehead State and Western Kentucky, among others. He has said in recent weeks that he’s willing to wait on Kentucky.
In neighboring West Virginia, Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep took Gatorade state honors. Wiggins, who has narrowed his list to UK, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas, accepted his Naismith Player of the Year award earlier this week. He’s regarded as the No. 1 overall player in all of high school basketball.
Kentucky’s youngest commitment — junior big man Karl Towns Jr. — won the honor for the state of New Jersey. Towns is UK’s only pledge from the class of 2014.
2014 point guard Tyus Jones was the only other UK target to win an award. He was chosen as the best player in Minnesota.
The winners were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2012-13 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
Prominent UK recruits were shut out in other states.
North Carolina commitment Joel Berry won in Florida over UK commitment Dakari Johnson.
Southern Cal signee Roschon Prince won in California over UK signee Marcus Lee and UK target Aaron Gordon.
Uncommitted junior prospect Justise Winslow won in Texas over UK signees Andrew and Aaron Harrison and new UK commitment Julius Randle.
Michigan signee Derrick Walton Jr. won in that state over UK signee James Young.