North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Webb’s Isaiah Hicks Is North Carolina Gatorade Basketball Player Of Year


CHICAGO— In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has announced Isaiah Hicks of J.F. Webb High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade North Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Hicks is the first Gatorade North Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Webb.

The 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 Hicks as North Carolina’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, Hicks 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).

The 6-foot-8, 210-pound senior power forward led the Warriors to a 27-5 record and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A championship this past season. Hicks averaged 22.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.6 blocks, 1.8 steals and 1.3 assists per game. A McDonald’s High School All-American Game selection, he shot 58 percent from the field, 41 percent from 3-point range and 66 percent from the free throw line.

Hicks amassed 34 points, a championship-game record 30 rebounds and seven blocks in a 73-70, title-clinching overtime victory against Statesville, capturing NCHSAA championship game Most Valuable Player honors. He also participated in the adidas Nations Global Championships and NBPA Top 100 Camp this past summer.

Hicks has maintained a B average in the classroom. In addition to volunteering on behalf of community service initiatives in association with his church, he has donated his time to “Team Meghan,” a fundraising effort to benefit 11-year-old Oxford native Meghan Bunn’s battle against brain cancer.

“Coaching against him is a nightmare,” said Wilton Baskett, head coach of rival Northern Vance. “He’s 6-foot-9, but moves as gracefully as a point guard. A lot of times bigs are more stationary, but he’s shooting 3’s, getting assists, making mid-range jumpers and dunking off the rim without bringing it down. He’s phenomenal. I was just telling people, ‘Graduation isJune 8, and June 9 will be one of the happiest days of my career, because Isaiah will be gone, and now we’ll have a chance.’”

Hicks has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of North Carolina starting this fall.