Mountain Brook’s Trendon Watford Wins Alabama Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year a Second Time
In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Alabama Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Watford is the first Gatorade Alabama Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Mountain Brook High School.
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 Watford as Alabama’s best high school boys basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Watford 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 state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior forward led the Spartans to a 31-3 record and a third straight Class 7A state championship this past season. Watford averaged 23.7 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 3.1 blocks and 2.5 steals per game, including 22 points and 11 rebounds in the title-game win over Baker High. A three-time Class 7A State Tournament MVP, Watford is a McDonald’s All-American and was named the state’s Mr. Basketball as a junior. He concluded his prep basketball career with 3,567 points, which ranks sixth in state history, in addition to setting a new state record with 1,888 career rebounds.
Watford has volunteered locally at the Birmingham Exceptional Foundation, serving mentally and physically challenged individuals, and has also donated his time to elementary school literacy-outreach programs and as a youth basketball coach. “Trendon has the ability to play inside or outside,” said Donnie Quinn, head coach of Spain Park High. “He can shoot the 3 and is a great finisher around the basket, even against bigger players, plus he plays the point against the press. But his greatest assets are his passion and his leadership.”
Watford has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
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.
Two-time winner Watford joins Gatorade Alabama Boys Basketball Players of the Year John Petty (2016-17 & 2015-16, Jemison High School), and Josh Langford (2014-15, Madison Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Watford 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 atwww.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.