By Nate Taylor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Gatorade, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced guard Rodney Purvis of Upper Room Christian Academy as its Gatorade North Carolina boys basketball Player of the Year. Purvis is the first Player of the Year to be chosen from Upper Room.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence and high standards of academic achievement along with exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court. Purvis is also now a finalist for the National Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.
“It means a lot,” Purvis said. “It’s an honor to have my name on that award.”
Purvis, who is 6-foot-4 and 199-pound, led the Eagles to a 24-16 record and the Greater Carolina High School Athletic Association championship this past season.
“I’m just happy and proud for him,” coach Avie Lester said. “It’s nice that people acknowledge his work and effort.”
Named GCHSAA Most Valuable Player, Purvis scored 24 points in the 85-61, title-clinching victory against Quality Education Academy.
“Rodney is very explosive and attacks the basket with so much force,” Quality Education Academy coach Isaac Pitts said. “Yet, he’s always in complete control of his body, and his demeanor on the court never changes regardless of the circumstances. We all know of his greatness as a player, but I believe he’s an even better person.”
Purvis is a McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic selection.
He is also an invitee to the LeBron James Skills Academy, the Adidas Nations Camp and National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp.
He also has maintained a 3.29 GPA after he was diagnosed with a learning disability in eighth grade.
“My mom didn’t want to go to a public school,” Purvis said. “This school has definitely helped me a lot.”
He has volunteered at the local Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and has been a motivational speaker to youth student-athletes.
Purvis has signed to play on scholarship at N.C. State this fall.