In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Jalen Krening of Rawlins High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Krening is the first Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Rawlins 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 court, distinguishes Krening 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, Krening joins an elite alumni association of past state boys basketball award winners, including Dwight Howard (2003-04, SW Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington HS, Colo.), Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame HS, Calif.), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood HS, Calif.) and Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln HS, Texas).

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior point guard averaged 24.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 59 percent from inside the arc this past season, leading the Outlaws (20-4) to the Class 3A semifinals.

A two-time First Team All-State selection, he led the Class 3A East Conference in scoring and ranked second in assists (4.9) and steals (2.8) per game.

Krening has maintained a B average in the classroom.

He has volunteered locally as part of an elementary school literacy-outreach initiative.

He has also donated his time on behalf of an area nursing home and as a youth football and basketball coach.

“Jalen Krening is one of the most humble, hard-working young men I have ever come across in my years of coaching,” said Allen Von Eye, head coach at Newcastle High. “On the floor, there is not a single player whose talent stands out more than his. I haven’t seen an individual who can get to the paint at will like he can. He gets to the free throw line more than most whole teams.”

Krening 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Krening joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Players of the Year Cody Kelley (2013-14 & 2012-13, Campbell County High School), Jason McManamen (2011-12, Torrington High School), Taran Brown (2010-11, Campbell County High School), Dan Estes (2009-10, Laramie High School), Michael Dietz (2008-09, Natrona County High School), Justin Nelson (2007-08, Campbell County High School), and Kyle Bullinger (2006–07, Mountain View High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.