In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, announced Matt Coleman of Oak Hill Academy as its 2016-17 Gatorade Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Coleman is the ninth Gatorade Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Oak Hill Academy.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Coleman as Virginia’s best high school boys basketball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Coleman joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph HS, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.).
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior point guard has led the Warriors to a 34-4 record and a berth in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, scheduled to begin March 30. Coleman averaged 11.3 points, 7.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game through 38 games. He was a member of the USA Basketball Under-18 National Team that won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in July.
Coleman has volunteered locally on the Oak Hill Academy student committee for social reform. He has also donated his time in his hometown of Norfolk as part of an anti-violence campaign and as a youth basketball coach.
“Matt is a bright spot for any coach,” said Mark Hall, head coach of Cape Henry Collegiate School. “He has a great basketball IQ, court vision, quickness and the ability to get others involved and make them better. He is very vital to that team.”
Coleman has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Texas beginning this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. T
he selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Coleman joins recent Gatorade Virginia Boys Basketball Players of the Year V.J. King (2015-16, Paul VI Catholic High School), Dwayne Bacon (2014-15, Oak Hill Academy), Thon Maker (2013-14, Carlisle School), Troy Williams (2012-13, Oak Hill Academy), Tyler Lewis (2011-12, Oak Hill Academy), James McAdoo (2010-11, Norfolk Christian High School), James McAdoo (2009-10, Norfolk Christian High School), Keith 'Tiny' Gallon (2008-09, Oak Hill Academy), Brandon Jennings (2007-08, Oak Hill Academy), and Nolan Smith (2006–07, Oak Hill Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Matt will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.
Previous School Winners
2014-15 Dwayne Bacon, G
2012-13 Troy Williams, F
2011-12 Tyler Lewis, F
2008-09 Keith “Tiny”, C
2005-06 Tywon Lawson, G
2003-04 Josh Smith, C
2002-03 Ivan Harris, PG
1990-91 Cory Alexander, G