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POY WATCH: Oklahoma boys basketball


The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our USA TODAY team that administers the program’s selection process.

Stephen Clark
Senior point guard, Douglass (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

2012-13 Team record: 9-3 (Class 4A)
2011-12 Team standing: Defending Class 4A state champions

2011-12 Points per game: 29
2011-12 Assists per game: 13
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5
2011-12 Steals per game: 3

Collegiate destination: St. Mary’s (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: The reigning Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Clark led the Trojans to the 2012 Class 4A state championship as a junior, averaging better than 27 points per game in the state tournament. He also exploded for 40 points on 16-for-27 shooting in the state final win over Anadarko (Okla.).

Juwan Parker
Senior guard, Washington (Tulsa, Okla.)

2012-13 Team record: 7-6 (Class 6A)
2012-13 Team standing: Unranked in Oklahoma by USA TODAY
2011-12 Points per game: 20.8
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.4
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.5
2011-12 Assists per game: 1.7

Collegiate destination: Georgia (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: A returning First Team All-State selection, Parker is ranked the No. 139 national recruit in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com. He shot better than 54 percent from the floor on 2-point shots in 2012.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Jaylen Brantley: Senior point guard, Edmond Memorial (Tulsa, Okla.)
Jakob Hartsock: Junior, Bartlesville (Okla.)
Shaquille Morris: Senior center, Santa Fe (Okla.)

 

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