CHICAGO (March 15, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Josiah James of Porter-Gaud as its 2018-19 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year. James is the second Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Porter-Gaud.
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 James as South 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,
James 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-7, 200-pound senior guard led the Cyclones to an 18-10 record and the South Carolina Independent School Association Class 3A semifinals this past season. James averaged 29.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.3 blocks and 4.9 assists per game. A three-time All-State selection, he is a McDonald’s All-American and a member of the USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team.
James has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter. “James had to take on more of a scorer’s mentality this year, but he’s really a throwback point guard who looks to set up the offense and get the ball where it needs to be,” said Matthew Hall, head coach at Goose Creek High. “What truly sets him apart is his understanding of the game. He has the ability to see plays on offense and defense in advance.”
James has maintained a 3.19 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Tennessee 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.
James joins Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Players of the Year Aaron Nesmith (2017-18, Porter-Gaud), Jalek Felton (2016-17, Gray Collegiate Academy), Joseph Battle (2015-16, Abbeville High School), and P.J. Dozier (2014-15, Spring Valley High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” James 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.