Posted On: 12/7/17 5:17 PM
Washington’s Mr. Basketball
Going into last year’s high school season, there was irrefutable consensus that Michael Porter Jr. was the state of Washington’s most talented player, and potentially the nation’s leading recruit by year’s end. Michael Porter led his Nathan Hale team to an undefeated season and unanimously took home the Washington’s Mr. Basketball award and 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year.
Now those stakes are justifiably hard to follow, but this year’s 2018 class is out to prove their worth. And unlike the start of last year’s season, the state of Washington’s Mr. Basketball award is not already presumed, and could likely come down to when it counts- the state playoffs.
What’s its value?
Each year since 1994, the Washington’s Mr. Basketball award is awarded to the top high school basketball player in the state of Washington. Player’s that presented the best overall resume determined on individual play and also team play. Award winners includes names such as Michael Dickerson, Luke Ridnour, and Aaron Brooks, and of more recent years Peyton Siva, Zach LaVine, and Dejounte Murray- and all who were as well drafted by the NBA.
Of course, this label does not necessarily prove the player’s value on a national level, but to be among the top players to come out of Washington state is pretty special- there’s no lack of talent here.
So…Where does that leave us this year?
Preseason speculation is simply, opinion- meaning unperceived talent could very well emerge and take this honor. But, going into this season, two players come to mind: Kevin Porter Jr. out of Rainier Beach and J’Raan Brooks out of Garfield. Both are notable names with Washington locals, and even among national spotlight.
Our Prep Hoops rankings has Kevin at #1 and J’Raan at #4, in this years 2018 senior class. The USC commit, Kevin Porter, is a crafty scorer and playmaker. His size and athleticism allows him to utilize very little space when getting to the basket, and his ability to make big shots in pressure late game scenarios illustrates a star in the making. And then J’Raan, a 6’8 big man with broad shoulders and long arms that can do work on just about anyone off the block. He has an excellent touch, with the ability to step out and nail a 17-foot jumper or post you up for a smooth turn-around jump shot. A lethal scorer and rebounder, making him one of the more promising bigs in the country for this year’s 2018 class.
And besides the obvious elite talent at hand, both athletes are key leaders among the team. Going into this season, Garfield and Rainier Beach have reasonable expectations to make a deep run in this year’s state playoffs.
Kevin Porter Jr. will be crowned Washington’s 2018 Mr. Basketball and lead his Rainier Beach team to a State Title.