PITTSBURGH – The state basketball playoffs are on hold, but a decision has been finalized on who is the No. 1 player in the state.
It's Ethan Morton – a Purdue recruit.
Morton, a 6-foot-6 senior point guard at Butler High School in the WPIAL, has been named the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year. This is the 35th year that Gatorade has been naming players of the year for every state. The award takes into consideration basketball achievements but also academics and "exemplary character on and off the field."
Morton, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, is a four-year starter who led Butler to its first WPIAL championship since 1991. Butler won two PIAA playoff games to make it to the Class 6A quarterfinals, but the PIAA has postponed the rest of the tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Morton averaged nearly a triple double with 22.8 points, 12.8 rebounds and 8.4 assists. He also averaged 2.1 steals and 1.4 blocks, shot 56% from the field and 81% from the free-throw line. He has scored 2,198 points. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 79 senior in the country and Morton has signed to play with the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Conference.
Morton is only the sixth WPIAL boy to win the award. The others were Mars' Robby Carmody, Moon's Brian Walsh, Blackhawk's Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and Dante Calabria, and Shaler's Danny Fortson. A number of former Pennsylvania winners have gone on to the NBA, including Kobe Bryant, Kyle Lowry, Rasheed Wallace and Billy Owens.
Here is a complete list of Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year winners since the award started in the 1985-86 season:
1986: Brian Shorter, Simon Gratz
1987: Clay Buckley, Conestoga
1988: Billy Owens, Carlisle
1989: Billy McCaffrey, Allentown Central Catholic
1990: Jonathan Haynes, Germantown Friends
1991: Donyell Marshall, Reading
1992: Dante Calabria, Blackhawk
1993: Rasheed Wallace, Simon Gratz
1994: Danny Fortson, Shaler
1995: Howard Brown, Pottstown
1996: Kobe Bryant, Lower Merion
1997: Martin Ingelsby, Archbishop Carroll
1998: Rasual Butler, Roman Catholic
1999: Matt Carroll, Hatboro-Horsham
2000: Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, Blackhawk
2001: John Allen, Coatesville
2002: Gerry McNamara, Bishop Hannan
2003: Aaron Gray, Emmaus
2004: Kyle Lowry, Cardinal Dougherty
2005: Ryan Ayers, Germantown Academy
2006: Gerald Henderson, Episcopal Academy
2007: Jeff Jones, Monsignor Bonner
2008: Brian Walsh, Moon
2009: Maalik Wayns, Roman Catholic
2010: Tony Chennault, Neumann-Goretti
2011: Amile Jefferson, Friends Central
2012: Amile Jefferson, Friends Central
2013: Steve Vasturia, St. Joseph's Prep
2014: J.C. Show, Abington Heights
2015: Levan Shawn Alston, Haverford School
2016: Lonnie Walker, Reading
2017: Mohamed Bamba, Westtown
2018: Robby Carmody, Mars
2019: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kennedy Catholic