CHICAGO -- 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 Brannen Greene of Tift County High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Greene is the first Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Tift County 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 Greene as Georgia'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, Greene 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-7, 200-pound senior shooting guard averaged 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals while shooting 91 percent from the free throw line this past season, leading the Blue Devils (26-5) to the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals. Georgia's 2013 Mr. Basketball, Greene scored a season-high 37 points in a win over Westover High this year and concluded his prep career with more than 2,000 points.
Greene has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, the Adopt a Highway program and as part of a community effort to collect canned goods for families in need.
"Brannen Greene is a very good player and definitely the best I saw this year in our state," said Mike Thompson, head coach at McEachern High. "He's a very good shooter and can get to the rim on anybody. He will be a very good player at the next level."
Greene has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kansas 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.
Greene joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Players of the Year Tony Parker (2011-12, Miller Grove High School), Shannon Scott (2010-11, Milton High School), Ryan Harrow (2009-10, Walton), Derrick Favors (2008-09 & 2007-08, South Atlanta High School), and Gani Lawal (2006 - 07, Norcross) 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 www.gatorade.com/poy.