Union's Chatman is Gatorade state player of the year

He is third Clark County boy to be so honored

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

Updated: March 22, 2012, 8:03 PM

 

Mr. Washington can now have a big sip of Gatorade.

Jordan Chatman, who was named Mr. Washington by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association for his senior year of excellence on the court for Union High School, has now been named the Gatorade state boys basketball player of the year.

The official announcement was made Thursday morning, but Chatman found out from his coach on Wednesday.

“It was exciting news,” Chatman said. “I’m grateful that I got it because of all the hard work I put in and for all the great people around me, supporting me. It’s great to be recognized.”

Chatman becomes the third Clark County boys basketball player to be selected by Gatorade in the 27-year-old history of the award. Dan Dickau of Prairie was named the player of the year in 1997 and Duke Wellenborn of Mountain View took the top spot in 1986.

“I talked to my dad. He was pretty pumped up,” Jordan said of his father, Jeff. “He was telling me how big of an award this is. He was really excited and happy for me.”

Other recent Washington winners include Peyton Siva, who has led Louisville into this season’s Elite Eight, and NBA players Spencer Hawes, Jon Brockman, Marvin Williams, Aaron Brooks, Luke Ridnour, and Portland Trail Blazer Jamal Crawford.

Ashley Corral of Prairie was named the girls state player of the year in 2008.

“It’s just a great honor to be amongst them,” Chatman said. “Can’t stop here. Gotta keep working, keep improving.”

According to a press release from Gatorade, the award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.

Chatman, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged better than 20 points, six rebounds, with 2.7 assists and nearly two steals a game while leading the Titans to a third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament in Tacoma. He was named the state tournament MVP after averaging 27 points.

He also carries a 3.19 grade point average.

This award completes Chatman’s high school career. Although he has played in one all-star game, he will not play in this weekend’s Les Schwab Tires Roundball Shootout, an event featuring some of the best seniors from Southwest Washington. Chatman does not play on Sundays.

In fact, it will be some time before we see Chatman in organized basketball. He is leaving for Taiwan for a two-year mission for his church before he enrolls at Brigham Young University.

Interestingly, his younger sister, Jessica, has made a verbal declaration to BYU. Jessica is a sophomore at Union and would become a freshman at BYU the same time as Jordan.

“It’s going to be a great experience, playing at the next level with her,” Chatman said.