In its 25th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced KT Harrell of Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School as its 2009-10 Gatorade Alabama Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Harrell is the first Gatorade Alabama Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School.
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 Harrell as Alabama'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, Harrell joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Chris Paul (2002-03, West Forsyth HS, N.C.), Kevin Garnett (1992-93, Maudlin HS, S.C.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.), Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.) and Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas).
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior shooting guard led the Rams (23-6) to the Class 4A state tournament title game this past season, averaging 27.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. The 2009-10 Class 4A Player of the Year as named by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and an Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic selection, Harrell clicked for 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the Class 4A state championship game, but Brewbaker Tech fell to Ramsay, 58-50. Also a 2009-10 ESPN RISE Southeast Region Boys Basketball Player of the Week this winter, he shot 64.9 percent from the field, 48.9 percent from beyond the 3-point line and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line during his senior campaign.
Harrell has maintained a 3.02 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has established a local bible study group in addition to donating his time as a youth basketball instructor and mentor to area elementary and middle school student-athletes.
"He is the perfect example of a true student-athlete," said Brewbaker Tech Head Coach Chauncey Shines. "He and his fellow teammates have a very interesting story. Brewbaker Tech is a public school that focuses on academics, so when the school was built in 2001 there was no gym on campus. The fact that his team has no home gym in which to practice or play games makes the things these young men accomplish on the basketball court amazing."
Harrell has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Virginia 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. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.