The Oklahoma Eagle Sportswire
In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Bryce Thompson of Booker T. Washington High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Thompson is the third Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Booker T. Washington 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 field, distinguishes Thompson 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, Thompson joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph High School, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln High School, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood High School, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington High School, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Calif.).
The 6-foot-5, 185-pound junior guard led the Hornets to a 26-2 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season. Thompson averaged 19.6 points, 5.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. MVP of the Tournament of Champions, he was a Tulsa World All-World Third Team selection as a sophomore and is ranked as the nation’s No. 46 recruit in the Class of 2020 by ESPN.
Also, a talented musician, Thompson has volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank and youth basketball programs. “Thompson is a special player with some special talent,” said Josh Berry, head coach at Muskogee High. “He’s a great shooter and he’s gotten very good at distributing the basketball as well. He really keeps the pressure on the defense and is so dangerous in the open court.”
Thompson has maintained a 3.29 GPA in the classroom. He 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Thompson joins Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Players of the Year Mason Harrell (2017-18, Carl Albert High School), Trae Young (2016-17 & 2015-16, Norman North High School), and Shake Milton (2014-15, Owasso High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Thompson also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.