Jackson’s Todd named Gatorade Washington Player of the Year

Jason Todd doesn’t have a personal trophy case.

Yet.

If he did it would likely be quite full. The two-time Herald All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year added another award to his collection Friday, being named — for the second-consecutive year — the Gatorade Washington Player of the Year.

“I don’t have a personal trophy case. I might have to look into that,” Todd said with a laugh. “It’s something you just have to enjoy and be proud of and know that the culmination of four years have paid off. Fortunately for me, I’ve had four great years, which has had some awards.

“I’ll make some room for it.”

It is the latest award for Todd, who was selected Mr. Basketball by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association earlier this week and also named the Most Valuable Player at the prestigious MaxPreps Holiday Classic tournament in Palm Springs, Calif., in December.

“This is a good guy who really deserves the credit he’s getting,” said Jackson head coach Steve Johnson. “And is a good representative of a good group of guys.”

According to the press release, the Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes star basketball players’ contributions on and off the court, with academics and character taken into the equation.

“(The award) distinguishes Todd as Washington’s best high school boys basketball player,” the press release said.

Todd is the first player from the state of Washington to win the award in consecutive years.

“I was surprised,” said Todd, who discovered the news on Twitter. “I don’t think that’s ever something I really thought about. I was just focused on our team and our goals. Individual awards are never something I think about.”

Last season, Todd became the first basketball player from Jackson to be chosen as the Gatorade Player of the Year — baseball player Travis Snider won the award in 2006. As a senior, the 6-foot-5 Todd ensured his second-consecutive award, averaging 17.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game for Jackson.

The University of Portland-bound Todd shot 51 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free throw line while leading the Timberwolves to a 25-2 record and fourth-place finish at the 4A state tournament. Todd finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds in his final game at Jackson, a 61-44 victory over Gonzaga Prep.

“The fact that our program and our team gets recognition is exciting. For me that’s kind of what’s the coolest,” Johnson said. “It’s such a prestigious award and to have it be attributed to our school and a kid that goes to our school is really cool.”

Todd agreed with his — now former — coach.

“It’s a team thing,” Todd said. “It might say my name on it but it goes to Jackson High School and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Also taken into consideration was Todd’s 3.53 grade point average. He also volunteers as a youth basketball coach.

Past winners of the award include Union’s Jordan Chatman (2011-12), Gary Bell Jr. (2010-11) of Kentridge, and former University of Washington players Abdul Gaddy (Bellarmine Prep, 2007-08), Spencer Hawes (Seattle Prep, 2005-06) and Snohomish’s Jon Brockman in 2004-05.

“He is hands-down the most difficult player to prepare for as a coach,” said Kamiak head coach Cory West in the press release. “Not only does he score, but he posts up, he brings the ball up the court and he defends. He does whatever his team needs him to do on that given night. He continues to finish every game with a smile and a thank you to the opposing coach.”

Todd didn’t have any immediate plans to celebrate, but he did have one idea.

“I might have to go buy a Gatorade or something,” Todd said. “Maybe I’ll get a discount.”

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