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MVU's Matt St. Amour wins Gatorade Player of the Year award

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Missisquoi Valley Union junior Matt St. Amour was named Gatorade high school boys basketball player of the year Thursday.

St. Amour (@Mattieu St. Amour) tweeted news of his award Thursday morning: “Just found out I'm Gatorade player of the year. What a great accomplishment an I'm so thankful to all my supporters.”

According to a press release issued by Gatorade, St. Amour, a 6-3 guard, averaged 26.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game this past season, leading the Thunderbirds (11-10) to the Division I state tournament. The two-time Lake Division Player of the Year, St. Amour is a member of the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen and already holds the school career record for points, with 1,388.

St. Amour is the first Gatorade Vermont Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Missisquoi Valley Union High School in the 27-year history of the award.

While he's a star on the court, off the court he was excelled, as well. He has 4.13 GPA in the classroom and he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs and has raised funds to benefit the American Cancer Society.

“He plays under control and can finish on either side of the basket, and he’s also got great range,” said Peter Quinn, head coach at Vergennes High School said in a press release. “You have to defend him as soon as he gets one or two dribbles over half-court.”

St. Amour will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

His family said has drawn interest from some Division I colleges, although at this point he’s still early in the decision-making process.

Ken Fairchild, coach of rival BFA-St. Albans, said earlier this winter that St. Amour’s skills should translate to the Division I game. Fairchild would know, one of his former players, current Burlington High School Matt Johnson went on to score 1,264 points for UVM and earned a spot in the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

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 St. Amour as Vermont’s best high school boys basketball player. He’s a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, St. Amour 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).

St. Amour joins recent Gatorade Vermont Boys Basketball Players of the Year Ben Ferris (2010-11, Essex High School), Joe O'Shea (2009-10, Burlington), Clancy Rugg (2008-09, Burlington High School), Matt Joslin (2007-08, North Country Union High School), and Pat Bergmann (2006–07, Rice Memorial) among the state’s list of former award winners.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia 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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

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