Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
During its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process each week, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Semi Ojeleye
School: Ottawa (Kan.)
Sport: Boys basketball
Athletic Production: During his senior season, the nation’s No. 33 recruit in the Class of 2013 (as ranked by Rivals.com), dropped 57 points in a 77-30 victory against Paola (Kan.) and 58 points in a 102-29 win over Wray (Colo.). The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Duke commit averaged 32 points and eight rebounds last season, leading the Cyclones (23-2) to the 2012 Class 4A state championship game as a junior.
Academic Achievement: Ojeleye has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary Character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally on behalf of his church, the library, a food drive and a non-profit emergency relief organization.