Lewis-Palmer's Scott named Gatorade Player of the Year in Colorado

BRENT BRIGGEMAN Published: March 22, 2012

Josh Scott felt like he was the last to know about his latest -- and biggest -- individual honor.

Though news broke around 9 a.m. Thursday morning that the Lewis-Palmer senior center had been named the 2011-12 Gatorade Colorado Boys Basketball Player of the Year, he wasn't informed until his mother told him after school.

"She was like, 'You really don't know?'" said Scott, who is now a finalist for the national award. "But nobody told had me about it."

It shouldn't have come as a surprise, as the Colorado-bound 4A champion and state's leading scorer was the logical choice for the award.

Scott averaged 28.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 72.3 percent from the field and 75.8 percent from the free-throw line. He guided the Rangers (27-1) on a 27-game winning streak that culminated in a 44-43 victory over area rival Sierra in the state championship game. Scott scored 23 points in the finale on his future home floor in Boulder.

"It's a pretty cool honor," Scott said. "Especially for this year, since Colorado has the most talent it's probably had in a long time."

The Gatorade award, given in conjunction with ESPNHS, considers factors other than on-court success in its selection process. The organization noted that Scott -- the son of two Air Force Academy graduates -- has maintained a B average, sings bass in his school’s choir, and has donated his time as a youth basketball instructor and as a mentor to elementary school children.

If his numbers don't tell a complete enough story of his dominance in basketball, consider how Air Academy coach Barry Clark summed up the experience of opposing the 6-foot-10 inside force.

"We tried to double team him, and he shared the ball with an open shooter," Clark said in a press release issued by Gatorade. "We played behind him to push him out, and he could still get to the basket with ease. He is a fierce competitor who does everything within the rules to win. He loves to compete and takes it seriously and does not showboat. He is a very humble player who does not draw extra attention to himself.”

This is the fourth time a player from the Pikes Peak region has received the boys' basketball award since the award was created in 1986. Scott joins Palmer's Reggie Jackson (2008), Doherty's Patrick Hannaway (2003) and Air Academy's Rodney Zimmerman (1990) as the area's winners.

Michaela Neuhaus of Highland's Ranch was named the girls' winner for Colorado on Thursday.

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