Kansas signees, Christian Braun, Mackey McBride, earn Gatorade Player of the Year honors
Arkansas and Kansas aren’t known for having the best basketball talent among the nation's high school ranks year in and year out. But the Kansas men’s basketball program did pull the best players from those states in its most recent recruiting class.
Class of 2019 signees Christian Braun, of Blue Valley Northwest, and Mackey McBride, of Little Rock, Ark., this weekend were named the Gatorade Boys Basketball players of the year from their respective states after turning in fantastic senior seasons.
Braun is the third player from his school to win the Gatorade Player of the Year honor.
The 6-foot-7, 190-pound guard led the Huskies to a 27-2 record and the Class 6A state championship this season, averaging 27.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game, including 16 points and 10 rebounds in the title-game win over Washburn Rural High.
Braun, who was 5-foot-8 as a freshman, was the MVP of the state tournament and is a two-time first team all-State selection. He concluded his prep basketball career with 1,074 points.
McBride, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound point guard led Baptist Prep Eagles to a 30-4 record and the Class 3A quarterfinals this season, averaging 28.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, while converting 47.5 percent of his 3-point attempts.
An all-State honoree, he was selected to the All Arkansas Preps First Team and the USA TODAY’s ALL-USA Arkansas First Team as a junior. McBride has also been chosen to play in the Big Baller Brand All-American Game.
Now in its 34th year, 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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Braun joins Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Players of the Year Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (2017-18, Bishop Miege), Mitchell Ballock (2016-17, Eudora High), Jerrick Harding (2015-16, Wichita Southeast) and Dean Wade (2014-15, St. John) as recent winners of the Kansas honor.