Porter-Gaud senior guard Josiah James was named the 2018-19 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year on Friday, marking the second straight year the award has gone to a Porter-Gaud player.
Guard Aaron Nesmith, now a freshman at Vanderbilt, won the award last season.
“Aaron definitely set a high standard for me and it’s a great honor and a blessing that I am able to win the award that he won last year,” James said.
James, a 6-7 combo guard headed to Tennessee, averaged 29.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.3 blocks and 4.9 assists this season. He led the Cyclones to an 18-10 record and a spot in the SCISA AAA state semifinals. The five-year starter also helped Porter-Gaud to three consecutive state titles.
James will participate in the McDonald’s All-American game March 27 as one of the nation’s top 24 senior high school players.
“It’s been a special year for me,” James said. “It’s a testament to all of the hard work I have been putting into this game since I was a young kid. For me, I don’t think this is by accident. If you work hard, great things can happen.”
In addition to his talents on the court, James carries a 3.19 grade-point average and has volunteered at a local homeless shelter in his free time. James will now wait and see if he is named the national player of the year, which is announced later this month.