CHICAGO (March 16, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Solomon Washington of George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy is the 2021-22 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Washington is the first Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy.
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 Washington as Louisiana’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, Washington 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-7, 215-pound senior forward had led the Rams to a 32-5 record and a berth in the Class 4A state final at the time of his selection. Washington averaged 14.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 blocks and 2.3 steals per game through 37 games. Entering the title game, he’d recorded 22 double-doubles along with a triple-double of 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 blocks in a 71-42 win over Landry-Walker High School in the state quarterfinals. A two-time First Team All-State selection, he had 1,628 points and 1,415 rebounds in his prep basketball career with one game to play.
Washington has volunteered locally with Thrive New Orleans and as a youth camp counselor. “Solomon is a manchild—no one stopped him this year,” said Carlos Sample, head coach of Scotlandville High School. “He can defend and score in various ways. He’s super athletic and kills on the offensive and defensive boards. He’s a freak athlete.”
Washington has maintained a 3.05 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Texas A&M University 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, 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.
Washington joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Boys Basketball Players of the Year Carlos Stewart (2020-21, Dunham School), Reece Beekman (2019-20, Scotlandville Magnet High School), Jalen Cook (2018-19, Walker High School), and Ja’Vonte Smart (2017-18, Scotlandville Magnet 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, Washington 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. Washington 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 have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300
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 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.