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HONORS: Incoming Hoyas Guard Named Gatorade New York Player of the Year

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Jordan Riley earns another honor in New York State as the top high school basketball player

Mount St. Mary’s v Georgetown

The Georgetown Hoyas’ incoming guard recruit, Jordan Riley, is adding to his high school accolades with recently being named Gatorade New York Player of the Year.

Press Release:

BRENTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE NEW YORK BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

CHICAGO (June 4, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Jordan Riley of Brentwood High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade New York Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Riley is the first Gatorade New York Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Brentwood 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 Riley as New York’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, Riley 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 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior guard led the Indians to a 6-1 record this past pandemic-shortened season, averaging 31.7 points, 6.5 assists, 5.5 steals and 3.8 blocks per game. Riley was named Mr. New York Basketball and Newsday Player of the Year. A First Team All-State honoree, he is also a two-time All-Conference and All-Long Island selection.

Riley has volunteered locally on behalf of Toys for Tots, a soup kitchen and winter clothing drives. “Riley possesses super athletic ability and can make a highlight play at a moment’s notice,” said Paul Biancardi, ESPN National Recruiting Director. “He’s a downhill specialist who functions best when the game goes up and down. Not only can he score the ball at a high rate, he rebounds and defends with intensity.”

Riley has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Georgetown 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.

Riley joins recent Gatorade New York Boys Basketball Players of the Year R.J. Davis (2019-20, Archbishop Stepinac High School), Joe Girard III (2018-19 & 2017-18, Glens Falls High School), and Hameir Wright (2016-17, Albany Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Riley has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Riley 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.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

The Press Release notes that Riley was also named Newsday’s Player of the Year and “Mr. Basketball” for New York by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY).

Newsday has been quite effusive over Riley with their PoTY award, saying, “Riley was always at the center of the opposing team’s game plan but could rarely be slowed down,” noting that he “opened the season with 42 points and eight steals against Sachem East and scored at least 26 points in six of seven games this year.”

Newsday wrote about Riley’s work ethic, saying “[H]e’s been waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to train” and that the pandemic “allowed him to focus on his major goal in life — basketball.” Riley has a basketball court in his backyard, where he spends quite a bit of time. Riley told Newsday, “Pretty much every day all day is basketball,” saying that the pandemic “actually helped put me altogether. Kept me neat and organized. I was doing chores around the house, basketball and schoolwork. That was all I had to worry about.”

Riley’s coach noted, “It was clear to see what his ability was this year and why he’s going to Georgetown” and, “It was undeniable, it really was. He was just able to perform at such a higher level than anybody I’ve seen in a very, very long time.” Jimenez also noting how Riley was the center of the opponents’ game plan, said, “When he was on the floor, he was making things happen ... [h]e drew so much attention that he was always able to find open guys that can finish.”

The high school coach further spoke of the fit at Georgetown saying, “They want to have alpha dogs out there,” and “he’s going to fit right into that high-energy, physical type of defense that they want to play.” Got to love seeing that.

Nationally, Jordan Riley is a 3-or-4-star-rated 6’4” guard recruit out of Brentwood on Long Island in New York. Last July, Riley chose Georgetown over St. John’s and others. He was recruited by Patrick Ewing and Louis Orr.

Several scouts who have seen Riley live since last summer have called him very underrated and believe that in a non-pandemic world he would be rated much, much higher.

Riley’s coach may not have filed the appropriate forms for nomination for McDonald’s All-America honors, but he likely needed a full season to prove himself to be that level, nationally, anyway. Hopefully these well-deserved trophies soften that blow considerably!

As of today, Georgetown’s incoming freshman class (2021) is:

  • Aminu Mohammed G/F 6-5
  • Ryan Mutombo C 6-11
  • Jordan Riley G 6-4
  • Jalin Billingsley F 6-8
  • Tyler Beard G 6-1

Riley and the freshmen should be on the Hilltop any day now (if not already)!

Congratulations, Jordan! HOYA SAXA!