CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Trayce Jackson-Davis of Center Grove High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Jackson-Davis is the first Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Center Grove 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 Jackson-Davis as Indiana’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, Jackson-Davis 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-9, 231-pound senior center had led the Trojans to a 21-8 record and a berth in the Class 4A state tournament semifinals at the time of his selection. Jackson-Davis averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals through 29 games. A McDonald’s All-American, Jackson-Davis won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2018 FIBA Americas Championships in Canada. He entered the state semifinals with 1,768 career points.
The son of former NBA player Dale Davis, Jackson-Davis has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and at the Wheeler Mission Center in Indianapolis, serving the homeless and those in need. “Trayce often faces double- and triple-team defense,” said Joe Bradburn, head coach of Greenwood High School. “Trayce makes a huge difference just by his presence. He has the size and skill to make it to the NBA.”
Jackson-Davis has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Indiana University beginning 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 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.
Jackson-Davis joins Gatorade Indiana Boys Basketball Players of the Year Romeo Langford (2017-18, New Albany High School), Brian Bowen (2016-17, La Lumiere School), Kyle Guy (2015-16, Lawrence Central High School), and Caleb Swanigan (2014-15, Homestead High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Jackson-Davis 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.