Taveion Hollingsworth’s claim as the state’s top high school player only solidified Monday, as the Western Kentucky signee was named the 2016-17 Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year from Kentucky.
Hollingsworth is the first WKU signee to win Gatorade’s Kentucky Player of the Year award since Steffphon Pettigrew in 2007. The award was established in 1985 to recognize high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.
It’s the latest in what has been a flurry of honors for Hollingsworth, a 6-foot-2 guard out of Dunbar High School in Lexington.
Last week, he was named named Kentucky Mr. Basketball, the award given to the state’s top senior. He’s the sixth Kentucky Mr. Basketball in WKU history and the first since Pettigrew in 2007.
Hollingsworth will also be busy on the all-star circuit this spring.
Last week, he was selected to play in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic in April. He will be among the top talent competing in the all-star game, which dates back to 1973 and takes place April 15 at Freedom Hall in Louisville.
Hollingsworth is the first WKU signee to compete in the game since George Fant and Derrick Gordon in 2011.
Because of the Kentucky Mr. Basketball honor, Hollingsworth is slated to wear the customary No. 1 jersey for the Kentucky squad in the annual Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series in June. He has also been selected to play in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game in April.
Hollingsworth, a consensus three-star guard who signed with WKU in November, led Dunbar to a 21-9 record this year as a senior, averaging 28.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He shot 55.1 percent from the field and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Hollingsworth finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in Lexington boys’ basketball history with 2,495 career points. Before being named Mr. Basketball, he was selected as the 11th Region player of the year.