From staff reports
CHICAGO ( year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Keyshawn Woods of Northside Christian School as its 2013-14 Gatorade North Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Woods, who has signed with the Charlotte 49ers, is the first Gatorade North Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Northside Christian.) — In its 29th
The 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 Woods 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, Woods 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-5, 195-pound senior guard has led the Knights to a 28-1 record, a third consecutive North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 2A state championship and a berth in the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, scheduled to begin. A three-time NCISAA Class 2A First Team All-State selection, Woods is averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He collected 22 points, four rebounds and three assists in an 87-68 victory against Concord First Assembly Academy in the title game.
Woods has maintained a weighted GPA of 3.79 in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade Award’s broad criteria. A member of the National Honor Society and his school’s leadership council as well as president of Northside Christian’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, he has volunteered locally on behalf of his church, as a youth basketball instructor and as a peer tutor.
“Keyshawn Woods is an outstanding player,” said Wade Tapp, head coach of rival Covenant Day School. “He’s the best in Charlotte and perhaps the best in the state. He has exceptional court awareness and makes his teammates better. I suspect that he will make a significant mark on UNCC. Shooting, passing, ball-handling, you name it, and he does it well at a fundamental and advanced level.”
Woods has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte this fall.
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 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.
Woods joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Boys Basketball Players of the Year Isaiah Hicks (2012-13, J.F. Webb High School), Rodney Purvis (2011-12, Upper Room Christian Academy), Marshall Plumlee (2010-11, Christ School), Reggie Bullock (2009-10, Kinston), Ryan Kelly (2008-09, Ravenscroft School), and Ty Walker (2007-08 & 2006–07, New Hanover High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.