Scotlandville's Reece Beekman named Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year
CHICAGO— In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Reece Beekman of Scotlandville Magnet High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Beekman is the second Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Scotlandville Magnet High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Beekman as Louisiana’s best high school boys basketball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award, Beekman joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph High School, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln High School, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood High School, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington High School, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Calif.).
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior guard led the Hornets to a 33-3 record and a berth in the Division I state tournament semifinals at the time of his selection. Beekman averaged 19.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 steals through 36 games with 13 tr iple-doubles as Scotlandville pursued its fourth-straight state title. He entered the state semifinals with 2,220 points, 949 rebounds and 927 assists in his prep basketball career. Beekman has volunteered locally delivering food to families in need, and he has donated his time to elementary school literacy programs and as a youth basketball coach. “Reece has a great team, but he is the reason why they are so great,” said Dirk Ricks, head coach of Jehovah-Jireh Christian Academy. “He is a great defender, rebounder and most of all a great leader.”
Beekman has maintained a weighted 4.11 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Virginia this fall. Beekman joins Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Players of the Year Jalen Cook (2018-19, Walker High School), Ja'Vonte Smart, (2017-18, 2016-17 & 2015-16, Scotlandville Magnet High School), and Wayde Sims (2014-15, University Laboratory School) 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 the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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. The 2019-2020 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year announcement has been temporarily postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. To ensure the safety of everyone involved, The Gatorade Company will follow the guidance of experts and health officials as it determines the appropriate time to announce this year’s winner. As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Beekman also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
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