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 Stephen Clark
of Douglass (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
as its 2011-12 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Clark is the second Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Douglass 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 Clark as Oklahoma'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, Clark 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 5-foot-10, 165-pound junior point guard led the Trojans to a 24-3 record and their fourth consecutive Class 4A state title this past season. He averaged 29 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and three assists per game while shooting 85 percent from the free throw line. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Clark was named the Class 4A state tournament MVP for the second straight season.
Clark has maintained a 3.88 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group and as part of a literacy-outreach initiative.
"Stephen Clark is such a valuable player who brings so much energy and excitement to our team," said Douglass High Head Coach Terry Long. "He's the most popular player I've ever had in my 23 years of coaching. He is a both a fantastic person and a player."
Clark will begin his senior year of high school 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.
Clark joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Players of the Year Ryan Spangler (2010-11, Bridge Creek High School), Tyler Neal (2009-10, Putnam City West), Xavier Henry (2007-08 & 2008-09, Putnam City High School), and Blake Griffin (2006–07, Oklahoma Christian School) 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