Wheeler Standout Named Gatorade Boys Player of Year

CHICAGO (March 15, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Isaiah Collier of Wheeler High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Collier is the fifth Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Wheeler 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 Collier as Georgia’s best high school boys basketball player. Now one of three finalists for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Collier joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Chet Holmgren (2020-21, Minnehaha Academy, Minn.), Trae Young (2016-17, Norman North High School, Ok.), Jayson Tatum (2015-16, Chaminade College Preparatory School, Mo.), and Karl-Anthony Towns (2013-14 & 2012-13, St. Joseph High School, N.J.).

At the time of his selection, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior guard had led the Wildcats to a 25-6 record and a berth in the Class AAAAAAA state championship game. Collier averaged 20.2 points, 6.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals through 31 games. A McDonald’s All-American Game selection, Collier was a Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year finalist. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2023 by ESPN.com.

An active member of Berean Christian Church, Collier has participated in weekly church youth group activities. He has also volunteered locally supporting the homeless on behalf of Operation Feed 100. As a member of Jack and Jill of America, he has donated his time to the Jesse Draper Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Hands on Atlanta, Inc., The Nicholas House for families in crisis and the “Soles4Souls” shoe drive. In addition, he has participated in numerous community service projects to assist families with food insecurities, including Free99Fridge and the Senior Teen campaign to eradicate teenage hunger, as well as serving as part of initiatives to paint the interior of E.L. Miller Elementary and to build a vegetable garden at Mary McCloud Bethune Cookman Middle School. He has also assisted in the home care of his aging grandparents. He has established himself as the best passer in the 2023 class. “Collier is the ultimate playmaker who shines when playing out of pick-and-rolls,” said Paul Biancardi, National Recruiting Director for ESPN. “He reads the floor and has excellent passing vision. A willing and accurate passer who now is dependable from deep, he’s special because he creates endless scoring opportunities for his teammates and, at the same time, can score big on his own when needed.”

Collier has maintained a weighted 3.30 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Southern California 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.

Collier joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Players of the Year Bruce Thornton (2021-22, Milton High School), Jabari Smith (2020-21, Sandy Creek High School), Walker Kessler (2019-20, Woodward Academy), and Sharife Cooper (2018-19, McEachern High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.  

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.

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