Wade Named Gatorade Kansas Player of the Year

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Incoming freshman Dean Wade (St. John, Kansas/St. John) was named the 2014-15 Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year on Friday in an announcement by the company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports.

The award not only recognizes outstanding athletic excellence on the basketball court, but also represents the high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the court. Wade is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward led St. John to a perfect 26-0 record and a third consecutive Class 2A state title this past season. Wade capped his prep career with his 13th double-double of the season with game-highs in both points (28) and rebounds (13) in the 49-44 win over Central Plains in the state championship game at Bramlage Coliseum on March 14. He finished his high school career with 58 consecutive victories.

For the season, Wade averaged 24.8 points on 72.5 percent shooting, including 42.5 percent from 3-point range, with 9.8 rebounds, 3.7 steals, 3.4 assists and 2.9 blocks per game. He also connected on 76.2 percent from the free throw line. He was also selected First Team All-State by the Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle for the second straight season.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Colombia 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 and 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.

Wade joins recent Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Players of the Year, including Travis Releford (Bishop Miege/Kansas), Perry Ellis (Wichita Heights/Kansas), Semi Ojeleye (Ottawa/SMU) and Clay Custer (Blue Valley Northwest/Iowa State).

Wade was one of three high school players to ink with Kansas State in the Fall Signing Period on Nov. 12, joining Barry Brown (St. Petersburg, Florida/Gibbs) and Dante Williams (Arlington, Texas/Bowie).