From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop the latest top candidate.
Freshman small forward, Madison Academy (Ala.)
Greatness Present: Birmingham News prep sports editor Jeff Sentell cleverly placed odds on who might win Alabama’s Mr. Basketball award, and he set Josh Langford – only a freshman – as the favorite in a state with plenty Division I basketball recruits.
It’s no wonder after his performance in the state’s Final 48 championships. Facing Greensboro (Ala.) and Alabama-bound senior center Jimmie Taylor in the Class 3A state semifinals, Langford scored 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go along with 16 rebounds in a 65-57 victory. As an encore, he overcame a tough shooting night (5-22 FG) to finish with 21 points, 19 rebounds, six assists and two blocks in a 54-47 state title win over Southside-Selma (Ala.).
Langford, who will surely climb the Class of 2016 recruit rankings, averaged 23.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this past season.
Greatness Past: Langford captured Alabama’s Class 3A Player of the Year honor as an eighth-grader in 2011-12 after leading Madison Academy to the state semifinals. He earned an invite to the USA Developmental National Team October mini-camp this past summer.
Greatness Future: Langford will only be a sophomore next year.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.