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National POY Watch: Florida boys basketball premier guard lights up the court despite recent knee injury

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 on the latest top candidate.

Joel Berry
Junior point guard, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)

Greatness Present: The 6-foot-1, 180-pound floor general scored 30 points in his team’s 77-57 blowout against Cocoa (Fla.) in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals. Somehow, Berry missed just nine games after undergoing surgery in early December for a torn meniscus in his left knee, and he now has seven 30-point efforts in only 16 games this season. He has averaged 25.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.3 steals per game for the Highlanders (20-5) this winter.

Greatness Past: The state’s reigning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Berry became the first sophomore in state history to be named Florida Mr. Basketball. He was also a member of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship team this past summer, starting five of eight games and averaging 7.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in fewer than 20 minutes per game.

Greatness Future: North Carolina (verbal)

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.



2013-14 National Winners

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    Boys Basketball POY

    St. Joseph High (Metuchen, NJ) senior Karl Towns Jr. named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

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    Girls Basketball POY

    Manvel (Texas) senior Brianna Turner named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

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    Football POY

    Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) defensive tackle Andrew Brown named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.

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    Volleyball POY

    Assumption High (Louisville, Ky.) setter Alexa Filley named Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.

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    Boys XC ROY

    Grand Blanc (Mich.) distance runner Grant Fisher named Gatorade National Boys XC Runner of the Year. 

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    Girls XC ROY

    Camas (Wash.) junior Alexa Efraimson named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

2013-14 State Winners