come train with us web (1)CHICAGO (March 17, 2016) — In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Colbey Ross of Eaglecrest High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Colorado Boys Basketball Player of the Year.  Ross is the first Gatorade Colorado Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Eaglecrest 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 Ross as Colorado’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, Ross joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), 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).

ECOL-164The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior point guard averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game this past season, leading the Raptors (25-3) to the Class 5A state championship game. A returning Class 5A Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by The Denver Post, Ross shot 47.6 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from 3-point range and 84.5 percent from the free-throw line. He was the lone rising junior selected to Colorado’s High School All-Star Game, “The Show,” this past summer.

Ross has maintained a 3.47 weighted GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria. Also a football standout, he received his school’s Exceptional Sophomore Award for academic and extracurricular achievement. A youth basketball instructor and a member of Eaglecrest’s Commitment Club for leadership, Ross has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and as part of a charitable toy drive in addition to donating his time to a soup kitchen, Walk for Sudan and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Colbey Ross is an incredible athlete and competitor,” said Brad Jansen, head coach at rival Arapahoe High. “His leadership skills and maturity have grown over the last three seasons as well. I have seen a talented freshman develop into an outstanding leader, competitor and respectful young man.”

Ross will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

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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 the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Ross joins recent Gatorade Colorado Boys Basketball Players of the Year Brian Carey (2014-15, Denver East High School), Dominique Collier (2013-14 & 2012-13, Denver East High School), Josh Scott (2011-12, Lewis-Palmer High School), Brett Olson (2010-11, Highlands Ranch High School), Bud Thomas (2009-10 & 2008-09, Regis Jesuit High School), Reggie Jackson (2007-08, Palmer High School), and Levi Knutson (2006–07, Arapahoe High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

IMG_4997About the Blogger: Nick Graham is the director of basketball for Chauncey Billups D1 Basketball in Highlands Ranch. Graham, who played collegiately at Washington State University trains basketball players of all ages and skill levels including many of the states top high school and collegiate players along with NBA players as well. In addition, Nick travels the country working with some of the nations top prep players. Along with leading D1 Basketball Training nationally, he also works with Spalding and many of the top trainers in the country including Johnny “Handle Life” Stephene. Through his partnership with Spalding Nick traveled to the 2016 NBA All Star game to provide youth players in the Toronto community with NBA All star training along with Stephene. Also, Nick and Stephene will lead regional All American camps this summer with D1 Basketball, Spalding and NBA players Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony amongst others. Nick’s passion is assisting Chauncey Billups in mentoring, developing and celebrating the young players and coaches along with educating and empowering parents of basketball players all over Colorado.

Follow Nick on Twitter @DreamLiveBall & on Instagram @DreamLiveBallNick  

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