FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECHICAGO (March 22, 2012) —
Contact: Adam Woullard (312-729-3627)
In its 27th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Nathan Dieudonne
of Trinity (Louisville, Ky.)
as its 2011-12 Gatorade Kentucky Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Dieudonne is the first Gatorade Kentucky Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Trinity High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Dieudonne as Kentucky's best high school boys basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Dieudonne joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.), Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.) and Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas).
The 6-foot-7, 200-pound senior forward led the Shamrocks to a 35-3 record and the first boys' basketball state championship in school history this past season. Dieudonne amassed 12 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the 71-53, title-clinching victory against Scott County High, capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors. A returning Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by The Courier-Journal, Dieudonne averaged 14.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.3 assists per game. He shot 57.8 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from 3-point range and 79.4 percent from the free throw line.
Dieudonne has maintained a B average in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of his church, Habitat for Humanity and Trinity's Green Cross service-oriented club.
"He's one of the hardest-working players I've had in the last three years," said Ray Valentine, Director of Basketball Operations for Dieudonne's KYA All-Stars Amateur Athletic Union team. "He's relentless. He's a very coachable young man, and his upside is tremendous because he plays so hard and is so passionate about the game. He's a great teammate. He continues to get better. The way he ended the season, he showed in the state tournament he was the best player in the state. He really persevered."
Dieudonne has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Boston University this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Dieudonne joins recent Gatorade Kentucky Boys Basketball Players of the Year Timmy Knipp (2010-11, Elliott County High School), Elisha Justice (2009-10, Shelby Valley), Jon Hood (2008-09, Madisonville North Hopkins High School), Darius Miller (2007-08, Mason County High School), and Steffphon Pettigrew (2006 – 07, Elizabethtown) among the state's list of former award winners.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com