ST. JOHN — St. John’s Dean Wade has earned three consecutive high school basketball titles heading to Kansas State University.
The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA Today High School Sports, named Wade of St. John High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year. The Gatorade Company has been honoring the nation’s best high school athletes for 30 years.
Wade is the first Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from St. John 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 court, distinguishes Wade as the best Kansas high school boys basketball player.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior center led the Tigers to a 26-0 record and a third consecutive Class 2A state championship this past season. Wade collected 28 points and 13 rebounds in the 49-44 championship victory over rival Central Plains, concluding his prep career with 58 straight victories.
“Not many people get to end their high school career where they are going to play college basketball,” Wade said. “You could not go out any better than the way I did. I have the upmost respect for Central Plains ever since we played them last year. It’s the best rivalry I’ve ever been a part of. It’s the most intense games I’ve ever been a part of.”
St. John head coach Clint Kinnamon said Wade will be a solid player for Kansas State.
“Dean does things the right way,” Kinnamon said. “That is his personality. That will be a fantastic thing for Kansas State. He’s a high character kid. When your best player is your hardest worker, that breeds success for your team.”
A McDonald’s All-American Game nominee, Wade averaged 24.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.7 steals, 3.4 assists and 2.9 blocks per game. Also a returning Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Class 2A First Team All-State selection, he shot 72.5 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from 3-point range and 76.2 percent from the free-throw line in his final prep campaign.
Wade has maintained a 3.29 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s band and Kansas Association for Youth Club, he has donated his time as a youth basketball instructor, on behalf of his church’s youth group and as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit St. John High.
“Wade is the best all-around player I have seen in quite some time,” said Brett Rolfs, Central Plains coach. “I have never seen a player of his size as multi-tooled as he is. He can play the one all the way to the five. He has great ball-handling skills, vision of the court, and an outstanding jump shot, and he has great knowledge of the game that has helped him craft all the aforementioned skills.”
Wade joins recent Gatorade Kansas Boys Basketball Players of the Year Clay Custer (2013-14, Blue Valley Northwest High School), Semi Ojeleye (2012-13, Ottawa High School), Perry Ellis (2011-12, 2010-11& 2008-09, Wichita Heights High School), and Travis Releford (2007-08 & 2006–07, Bishop Miege High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.