HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Incoming freshman Karl-Anthony Towns was named the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year at an awards ceremony held at the Lowes Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., on Tuesday evening.
Towns is the second player in the John Calipari era to recieve the honor, as Brandon Knight was tabbed the award winner in 2010. Coincidentally, Knight joined Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson in presenting the award to the future Wildcat last night.
A Metuchen, N.J., native, Towns led St. Joseph to a 30-2 record and a title at the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions his senior year. Towns averaged 20.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per outing. In addition to his prowess on the court, Towns graduated with a 3.96 grade-point average and served as a member of his student council.
Each year, 606 athletes are chosen as state Gatorade Players of the Year in each high school sport. From that pool, 12 national candidates are selected. A national voting panel consisting of sports journalists, coaches, prep-sports experts and analysts evaluates 12 honorees. The male and female athletes receiving the highest rating from this panel are named Gatorade Athletes of the Year. The criteria remain the same each year as the Player of the Year requirements include: athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Former winners of the award include LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Matt Barkley, Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Skylar Diggins and UK’s Knight.