Five-Time NBA All-Star Kevin Love Surprised Boozer with Honor
MIAMI, March 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 38th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Cameron Boozer of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Fla. is the 2022-23 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Boozer won the prestigious award for his accomplishments on and off the court, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Boys Basketball Players of the Year who have combined for more than five NBA MVPs awards, 76 All-Star appearances, 14 NBA championships, 27 NBA first round draft picks and three became Hall of Famers.
Five-time NBA All-Star and former Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year Kevin Love surprised Boozer with the news, while his family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes athletes not just for their excellence on the playing surface, but for their commitment in the classroom and impact in their community. Boozer was selected from more than half a million other student-athletes who play boys basketball nationwide, topping the list of state winners in boys basketball who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 20 with signed National Letters of Intent to play boys basketball at Division I colleges/universities and 27 with a GPA of 3.5 and above.
"Cameron Boozer plays with a maturity level that is simply amazing for a sophomore," said Paul Biancardi, National Recruiting Director for ESPN. "His game is advanced in every category and he is highly productive at both ends of the floor. Offensively, he excels because he blends the size of a power forward with the efficient skills of a triple-threat player. Inside the paint, he understands how to play with balance, footwork and post moves. What's more, rebounding is one of his greatest strengths. He is both a star and a team player, which separates him from many in today's game. Boozer is a winner on and off the court. As a total package, he epitomizes the Gatorade National Player of the Year."
The 6-foot-9, 215-pound sophomore forward led the Explorers to a 26-4 record and the Class 7A state championship this past season. Boozer averaged 21.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 steals per game, including a 13-point, 12-rebound effort in the team's 50-48 win over Winter Haven High School in the state final. A semifinalist for the Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year, he is ranked as the nation's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2025 by ESPN.com.
A student of the cello, Boozer has spent years playing in a community orchestra. He has volunteered locally on behalf of Fellowship Church by assisting with youth services, including leading weekly bible study. He has also donated his time as a mathematics peer tutor, both in algebra and geometry.
Boozer has maintained a weighted 4.81 GPA in the classroom. He will begin his junior year of high school this fall.
In addition to excellence on and off the field of play, Gatorade Players of the Year also pay it forward for the next generation. As part of Gatorade's Play it Forward initiative, Boozer will receive a grant to give to a 501c3 youth sports charity, which includes Gatorade's social impact partners – Athlete Ally, Laureus USA, Move United, Women's Sports Foundation and Up2Us Sports – supporting Gatorade's ambition to fuel the future of sport.
"The Gatorade Player of the Year program has recognized the nation's most elite student-athletes for nearly 40 years, with many going on to become Hall of Famers, National Champions and pillars in their communities," said Gatorade Portfolio president and general manager Michael Del Pozzo. "Cameron is among legendary company, and we look forward to seeing what he achieves going forward."
Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation's top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.
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