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March 23, 2010

Knight named Gatorade Player of Year again

MORE: VIDEO: Dunk breaks backboard | Top 100 rankings | State-by-state champs

Brandon Knight wasn't necessarily surprised the honor was coming. When you're named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a junior, winning it again as a senior is hardly a shock.

But the 6-3, 185-pound point guard with the great shot and terrific handle was a bit stunned when former NBA great Alonzo Mourning walked into his second-period class at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest High Tuesday to present him with this year's award.

Knight keeps company with Mourning, a former high school sensation who won the award at Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River in 1988. In fact, as a two-time winner, Knight is on a short list of such honorees that includes current NBA players LeBron James and Greg Oden.

"It's a great honor to be in this category," he said. "It adds a little pressure, but that's what makes a lot of great athletes, that they are able to thrive under pressure."

Knight did just that at Pine Crest.

He led his team to a state title as a sophomore and junior and a trip to the final as a senior.

He finished his career as Broward County's all-time leading scorer with 3,515 points. It's just one of the reasons he's the top-rated recruit in the Rivals 150 for the Class of 2010.

Knight is undecided on where he goes from here, having narrowed his choices to national powers Kansas, Kentucky, UConn and Syracuse as well as in-state schools Florida and Miami.

Narrowing the selection of Gatorade Player of the Year was just as difficult.

North Carolina recruit Harrison Barnes of Ames (Iowa) High and Ohio State recruit Jared Sullinger of Columbus (Ohio) Northland are considered the other elite players in 2010.

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