For the second time in five years, a Kentucky Wildcat was named the Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year. On Tuesday night, incoming center Karl Towns, of St. Joseph High (New Jersey), was named this year’s recipient at a banquet in Los Angeles. In 2010, Brandon Knight won the honor.
Towns is the No. 5 overall recruit in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals. The 7-foot-1 Towns was the first commit in the incoming class, later joined by guard Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker and forward Trey Lyles. Towns, the highest rated of the four, averaged 21.5 points, 13.7 points and 6.4 blocks per game as a senior.
He becomes the seventh basketball player to win the award since it was introduced in 2003. LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love are all previous recipients. Andrew Wiggins became the first Canadian to be named Gatorade Athlete of the Year in 2013.
Brianna Turner, a 6-foot-3 forward signed to Notre Dame, was named the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year.