In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade announced Sam Lecholat of Sheridan High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Lecholat is the second Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Sheridan 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 Lecholat as Wyoming’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 June, Lecholat 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 returning Gatorade State Player of the Year, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior forward averaged 17.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this past season, leading the Broncs (19-4) to the Class 4A state semifinals. Lecholat also chipped in 3.3 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while connecting on 50.2 percent of his field-goal attempts.
The Class 4A East Region Player of the Year, he is a three-time First Team All-State selection.
Lecholat has volunteered locally as part of community beautification projects and with the Salvation Army. “Sam is unselfish, hard-working and a great overall player,” said Jeff Bailey, head coach of Cheyenne South High. “He can create mismatches all over the floor with his inside-outside game.”
Lecholat has maintained a 3.85 GPA in the classroom.
He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Montana State 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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner Lecholat joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Players of the Year Erik Oliver (2018-19, Cheyenne East High School), and Trey Hladky (2017-18 & 2016-17, Campbell County High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Lecholat has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing.
Lecholat is also eligible to submit a 30-second 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 $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
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.