In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, announced Jason McManamen of Torrington High School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

McManamen is the second Gatorade Wyoming Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Torrington 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 McManamen 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, McManamen 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 6-foot-5, 185-pound senior shooting guard led the Trailblazers to a 23-5 record and the Class 3A state title this past season.

McManamen averaged 19.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

A two-time First Team All-State selection, he scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the state title-clinching win over Star Valley.

McManamen has maintained a 3.95 GPA in the classroom.

A member of the National Honor Society and his school newspaper’s editorial staff, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and as a youth basketball coach.

“Jason McManamen is as coachable and hard-working a player as I have ever coached,” said Torrington High Head Coach A.J. Gross. “As talented as he is, he also has tremendous character. It is my belief that his work ethic and personality are even more outstanding that his basketball skills.”

McManamen has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Wyoming 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 ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

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