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GAC standout Wilkins named Gatorade State Player of the Year

GAC’s Isaiah Wilkins (21) and Troy Morrison (4) celebrate in the final seconds as GAC defeats Calhoun 58-55 in the boys Class AA state championship game at the Macon Centreplex in Macon Friday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

GAC’s Isaiah Wilkins (21) and Troy Morrison (4) celebrate in the final seconds as GAC defeats Calhoun 58-55 in the boys Class AA state championship game at the Macon Centreplex in Macon Friday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

A big reward came in Friday for Greater Atlanta Christian senior basketball player Isaiah Wilkins, who was named the 2013-14 Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Wilkins, the first player from GAC to win the Gatorade boys statewide honor, led the Spartans to their second straight Class AA state championship this past season. They also finished the season a perfect 32-0, making them the first Gwinnett boys team to finish with an unbeaten record.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound senior forward averaged 18.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game. A two-time first team All-State selection, he scored 29 points with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in Greater Atlanta Christian’s 58-55 win over Calhoun in the state finals.

Wilkins has maintained a 3.18 GPA in the classroom. A devoted parishioner in his church community, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor and a youth basketball coach. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Virginia this fall.

“Isaiah Wilkins is by far the best player we played against this season,” said Jacob Travis, head coach at Model High. “We played several of the larger schools, but we didn’t see anyone who was as committed to winning for his team as much as he was. He dominates on both ends of the floor and competes in transition. He did exactly what was needed to beat us. I was impressed with his demeanor as well.”

The 29-year-old Gatorade 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 Wilkins as Georgia’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, Wilkins 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 and 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).

Wilkins joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Players of the Year Brannen Greene (2012-13, Tift County High School), Tony Parker (2011-12, Miller Grove High School), Shannon Scott (2010-11, Milton High School), Ryan Harrow (2009-10, Walton), Derrick Favors (2008-09 & 2007-08, South Atlanta High School), Derrick Favors (2007-08 and 2008-09, South Atlanta High School) and Gani Lawal (2006–07, Norcross) among the state’s list of former award-winners.