KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Kansas men’s basketball signee Gradey Dick has been selected as the 2021-22 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Dick, a Wichita native who plays at Sunrise Christian Academy, previously won the 2022 Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor for the second time.
He also won the state’s 2020 Gatorade National Player of the Year at Wichita Collegiate School.
Dick is the second multi-time winner of the Kansas state award. The only other multiple-time winner is Perry Ellis, who won it four straight seasons from 2009-12
“I really didn’t expect to even be up for the national player of the year, but as I went on with the season and kind of just started seeing how my play was going, it was definitely a goal I started to see myself get closer to,” Dick said in a statement.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum surprised Dick, a 6-foot-7 small forward, with news of the honor Tuesday via video call.
“He (Tatum) announced it and it was huge," Dick said. "Everyone came in with the trophy and everything. It was something I’ll never forget.”
Tatum won the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year three straight seasons from 2014-16.
Dick, a small forward, is an ESPN five-star recruit and ranked No. 8 overall in the 2022 recruiting class.
Dick averaged 17.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 steals for the Buffaloes, according to a release from the award committee.
Dick, a McDonald’s All-American Game selection, will represent the United States at the Nike Hoop Summit in April. He was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. U-18 team at the 3-on-3 World Cup last summer.
Two of Dick's future Jayhawks teammates — Ernest Udeh Jr. from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, and small forward M.J. Rice from Prolific Prep in Napa, California — also will play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
KSHB 41 News In-Depth Reporter Tod Palmer contributed to this story.