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March 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Jackson’s Jason Todd named state’s Gatorade Player of the Year

Jackson guard Jason Todd was named the Gatorade Washington boys basketball player of the year this week. Todd, a 6-foot-5 junior receiving Division-I interest, led his team in scoring (21.5 points per game), rebounding (10.8) and was also Jackson’s best defender.

He was one of the state’s most versatile players this year, capable of scoring inside or outside. His coach, Steve Johnson, once described Todd, who is often listed as a combo guard/forward on rosters, as simply a basketball player because he can do it all — pass, score, rebound and defend.

Todd was a Star Times all-area selection and also a first-team all-state selection. He is now a finalist for the national Gatorade player of the year to be announced in March.

Other recent Gatorade Washington Boys Basketball Players of the Year are: Union’s Jordan Chatman, Kentridge’s Gary Bell Jr., Chelan’s Joe Harris, Franklin’s Peyton Siva and Bellarmine Prep’s Abdul Gaddy.

Here is the full press release:

CHICAGO (March 21, 2013) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jason Todd of Jackson High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Washington Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Todd is the first Gatorade Washington Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Jackson 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 Todd as Washington’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, Todd 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-5, 200-pound junior guard averaged 21.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 31 minutes per game, leading the Timberwolves (26-1) to the Class 4A state championship game. A First Team All-State selection as named by The Seattle Times and News Tribune, Todd shot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent from the free throw line. In three postseason games, he averaged 16.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals, capturing Class 4A state tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

Todd has maintained a 3.60 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor, he has volunteered locally assisting in elementary school classrooms.

“Jason Todd is a true definition of a student-athlete with exemplary character,” said Cory West, head coach of rival Kamiak High. “What impresses me the most is his ability to play all five positions at the high school level. He can run the point comfortably, he has worked in the off-season to develop a better outside shot that he can hit consistently in order to play the 2 or 3 spot, and he can play on the block because he is so strong and finishes around the basket. Also, his ability to pass is key to his team’s success. He is a matchup nightmare for opposing teams at the high school level.”
Todd 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 the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Todd joins recent Gatorade Washington Boys Basketball Players of the Year Jordan Chatman (2011-12, Union High School), Gary Bell Jr. (2010-11, Kentridge High School), Joe Harris (2009-10, Chelan), Peyton Siva (2008-09, Franklin High School), Abdul Gaddy (2007-08, Bellarmine Prep. School) and Jamelle McMillan (2006 – 07, O’Dea) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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