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May 28, 2015

Niskayuna High School's Garrett Whitley named New York State's Gatorade® Player of the Year

picture of Garrett Whitley
picture of Garrett Whitley

CHICAGO (May 28, 2015) — In its 30th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Garrett Whitley of Niskayuna High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade New York Baseball Player of the Year. Whitley is the first Gatorade New York Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Niskayuna 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 Whitley as New York's best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Whitley joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Roy Halladay (1994-95, Arvada West HS, Colo.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman HS, Tenn.), Chipper Jones (1989-90, Bolles School, Fla.), Derek Lee (1992-93, El Camino HS, Calif.) and Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior center fielder owned a .351 batting average with three home runs and 13 RBI for the Silver Warriors (9-11) at the time of his selection. Whitley compiled a .479 on-base percentage and scored 24 runs
through 20 games, while also stealing 15 bases in 15 attempts. A Second Team All-State honoree as a junior, he is ranked nationally as the No. 18 player in the Class of 2015 by Perfect Game. Whitley was also named to both the USA TODAY American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Baseball Team and the Perfect Game First Team Preseason All-American Team.

Whitley has maintained a 3.84 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth baseball leagues and camps.

"They talk about five tool players, but Whitley has seven tools," said Curtis Nobles, head coach at Ballston Spa High. "The sixth is his baseball IQ and the seventh is character. He's got the speed, the arm, the power. Defensively, any time a ball goes toward center field, it usually ends up in his glove."

Whitley has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Wake Forest University this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June's Major League Baseball draft.

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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Whitley joins recent Gatorade New York Baseball Players of the Year Scott Blewett (2013-14, C.W. Baker High School), Mark Armstrong (2012-13, Clarence High School), Alex Robinson (2011-12, Holy Trinity High School), Jonathan deMarte (2010–11 & 2009-10, Lakeland High School), Marcus Stroman (2008–09, Patchogue-Medford), Philip Pohl (2007-08, Cooperstown), and Brian Dupra (2006-07, Greece Athena) among the state's list of former award winners. 


Video: Welcome to the state Gatorade Player of the Year Family