In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Erik Oliver of Cheyenne East High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Oliver is the third Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Cheyenne East 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 Oliver as Wyoming’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 March, Oliver joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph High School, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln High School, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood High School, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington High School, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Calif.).

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior guard and forward averaged 19.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals this past season, leading the Thunderbirds (22-5) to the Class 4A state semifinals.

A four-time All-Conference selection, Oliver is a two-time First Team All-State honoree.

Oliver has volunteered locally as a peer mentor and as a youth basketball coach.

“Erik Oliver is a dynamic scorer who shoots the ball very well and gets to the rim at will,” said Shawn Gillum, head coach of Natrona County High. “His numbers are very impressive, even more so when you watch how well he involves his teammates. He makes his teammates better.”

Oliver has maintained a 3.06 GPA in the classroom.

He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

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 work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Oliver joins Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Players of the Year Trey Hladky (2017-18 & 2016-17, Campbell County High School), Hoyt Nicholas (2015-16, Worland High School), and Jalen Krening (2014-15, Rawlins High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Oliver also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing.

He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

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.

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