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Gradey Dick wins Gatorade National Player of the Year award

Gradey Dick and Mark Mitchell named McDonalds All-Americans.
Gradey Dick and Mark Mitchell named McDonalds All-Americans.(KWCH)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:01 PM CDT
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BEL AIRE, Kan. Sunrise Christian Academy’s Gradey Dick joins a list that includes some of the best high school basketball players to ever take the court. Gatorade announced the senior as its 2021-22 National Basketball Player of the Year.

“Dick 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 five NBA MVPs awards, 76 All-Star appearances, 14 NBA championships, 27 NBA first round draft picks and three Hall of Famers,” a news release on Dick’s recognition said.

Boston Celtics forward-guard and 2015-2016 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year Jayson Tatum virtually surprised Dick with the news, while his family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school. You can see a video of the announcement here.

“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 Dick as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player,” Gatorade said in its news release. “The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others to evaluate candidates, selected Dick from nearly half a million other student-athletes who play boys basketball nationwide.

The company said Dick, committed to play at the University of Kansas next year, topped the list of state winners in boys basketball who collectively boast a list of accomplishments that includs six returning state Gatorade Players of the Year, 29 with a GPA of 3.5 and above and 31 with signed National Letters of Intent or verbal commitments to play basketball at Division I colleges/universities.

“The team’s leading scorer with 17.9 points per game at Sunrise Christian, Gradey is a long and lean knock-down shotmaker with a high basketball IQ and nice positional size,” said Paul Biancardi of ESPN Basketball. “More than a one-dimensional player, he will also finish drives, take charges and rebound, all of which helped his team win the NIBC regular-season title. What makes him special is that he combines talent, effort and good character. Kansas has an incoming player who will make an impact both on and off the court.”

The state’s 2019-20 Gatorade Player of the Year at Wichita Collegiate School, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound senior guard has led Sunrise to a 25-1 record and a berth in the Geico Nationals Tournament. Dick averaged 17.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game through 26 games, shooting 46.7 percent from behind the arc and hitting on 51.3 percent of his field goal attempts. A McDonald’s All-American Game selection, Dick was one of five finalists for the Naismith award. He will represent the United States at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, and he was a member of the gold-medal winning Under-18 U.S. team at the 3-on-3 World Cup last summer.

Off the court, Dick is a member of the Young Life Christian ministry. He’s volunteered locally at a food pantry and shelter for the homeless in addition to serving as a middle school math tutor twice a week for the past two years.

“He has also donated his time to the Special Olympics, Sunrise Christian Academy Basketball Camps, the Buddy Hield Basketball Camp and as a guest speaker/guest coach for younger students at school during his lunch period,” the news release on his national recognition said. In the classroom, he’s maintained a weighted 3.66 GPA.

“When you look at the stats Gradey Dick has achieved on the court, it’s undeniable that he’s worthy of joining a long line of past Gatorade Players of the Year,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “There is a ton of talent among the nearly half a million student-athletes across the nation who compete in boys basketball, but no one lights it up quite like Dick while also excelling in the classroom and making a difference in his community.”

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