CHICAGO (March 19, 2008) — In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced Stevie Mejia of Lawrence Academy as its 2007-08 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
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 Mejia as Massachusetts’ best high school boys basketball player. Mejia is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March.
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior point guard averaged 19.7 points and 4.3 assists per game this season, leading the Spartans (23-4) to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Class C championship game, where they fell to Saint Mark’s, 62-43. A two-time Independent School League Most Valuable Player and two-time National Prep School Invitational All-Tournament Team selection, Mejia added 4.2 assists and 2.8 steals per contest this winter.
Mejia has maintained a B average in the classroom. He participates in numerous community service-project initiatives, volunteering as a mentor at YMCA of South Boston/Halifax County in addition to donating his time to Greater Lawrence Head Start, a comprehensive social services program for low-income children and their families.
“The reason he’s successful is he always has a chip on his shoulder,” said Mike Byrnes, head coach of rival Winchendon School. “He may be undersized, which he is, but he proves them wrong with his toughness, which he always does. As far as his toughness and his competitiveness and will to lead, he has all those intangibles which are impossible to coach.”
Mejia has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Rhode Island this fall.
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. The selection process is administered by RISE Magazine, 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.
Mejia joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Players of the Year Mike Baldarelli (2006-07, Holy Name Central Catholic), Jimmy O'Keefe (2005-06, Lexington), and Nick Pontes (2004-05, New Bedford), among the state’s list of former award winners.
For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.