Wendell Named Gatorade VT Boys Basketball Player of the Year
In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Logan Wendell of St. Johnsbury Academy as its 2019-20 Gatorade Vermont Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Wendell is the third Gatorade Vermont Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Johnsbury Academy.
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 Wendell as Vermont’s best high school boys basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award, Wendell 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-1, 160-pound senior guard led the Hilltoppers to a 17-6 record and the Division 1 state championship game this past season. Wendell averaged 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. An All-Metro selection, he was also named to the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen.
An orientation leader in his school, Wendell has served as class treasurer and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs. “Logan Wendell is an unbelievable competitor,” said Mike Wood, head coach at Rutland High. “He has tremendous range, but he’s also shown the ability to hit the mid-range shot consistently and get to the basket. He draws a lot of attention from opposing defenses and he’s done a nice job of elevating the play of his teammates.”
Wendell has maintained an A average in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
David McGinn, Logan’s coach, says, “Logan is certainly deserving of this recognition. Athletically, I wondered how anyone could successfully combine being a point guard, and the team’s leading scorer; knowing how much easier it is to scheme defensively for that role. Logan defied everyone’s attempt to stop him individually, and his teammates collectively.
However, it has been his growth as a student and as a leader, not just on our team, but in school as well. I am very proud of all that he accomplished, and grateful for how he pulled for his teammates to experience the same.”
Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “Coach McGinn is right on when he talks about Logan’s remarkable ability to be such a scoring threat while playing point guard. He was able to create instant offense even though teams keyed on him every game. We have had very few athletes being able to do that and the fact that he was still able to reach 1,000 career points this year, despite those challenges, speaks to his drive and athletic ability. Combined with Josie Choiniere, who also surpassed that 1,000 level this year, SJA fans saw some of the best basketball in school history. It has been a very exciting four years of basketball.
I have the good fortune to teach Logan in an accelerated Literature and Composition course, and I can honestly say that the responsibility, respect, and hard work you see on the court permeates every aspect of his life. Logan and his family should be very proud. He joins an impressive list of athletes to have been given this honor.”
Logan is part of a distinguished group of SJA basketball players to receive the distinction of being named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Those alum’s are Tony Orciari ’97 (1995-1996 and 1996-1997), Taylor Coppenrath ’00, and Sadie Stetson ’19 (2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019). Logan’s teammate from last year’s championship team, Alex Carlisle, was a finalist in 2019.
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.
The 2019-2020 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year announcement has been temporarily postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. To ensure the safety of everyone involved, The Gatorade Company will follow the guidance of experts and health officials as it determines the appropriate time to announce this year’s winner. As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Wendell 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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.