Deegan Williams of Thunder Basin Named Gatorade POY
In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Deegan Williams of Thunder Basin High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Williams is the first Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Thunder Basin 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 court, distinguishes Williams as Wyoming’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, Williams joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Jayson Tatum (2015-16, Chaminade College Preparatory School, Mo.), Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph High School, N.J.), Jabari Parker (2011-12, Simeon Career Academy, Ill.) and Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.).
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound senior guard had led the Bolts to a 22-3 record and a berth in the Class 4A state semifinals at the time of his selection. Williams averaged 20.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 4.1 steals per game through 25 contests. A Class 4A All-State selection as a sophomore and junior, Williams has led the state in assists each of the past three years. He entered the state semifinals with 1,332 points in his prep basketball career.
Williams has volunteered locally as a summer camp counselor, and he has donated his time to multiple community service initiatives through his church. “Deegan Williams does it all,” said Bill Rosette, head coach of Rock Springs High School. “He can handle and go both ways, he attacks the basket when he has to, and he can bury a shot from anywhere on the court.”
Williams has maintained a weighted 3.80 GPA 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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and, others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Williams joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Players of the Year Sam Lecholat (2020-21 & 2019-20, Sheridan High School), Erik Oliver (2018-19, Cheyenne East High School), and Trey Hladky (2017-18, Campbell County High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the court. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Williams has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Williams is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants has totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
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 nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.
PhotoFest: 4A Boys Basketball Final-Thunder Basin Vs. Cheyenne East