Boys Basketball: Eaglecrest’s Colbey Ross picked Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year

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on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at Smoky Hill High School. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Eaglecrest junior Colbey Ross has been selected as the Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year for the 2015-16. Ross, the second boys basketball player in school history to receive the award and first since 1983, averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game as he helped the Raptors to a runner-up finish at the Class 5A boys state basketball tournament. He has also been selected for the first A-Town All-Stars Game. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Colbey Ross often played the role of selfless leader as part of an Eaglecrest squad that was the epitome of a team during the 2015-16 boys basketball season, but he got recognized at the end for his individual efforts.

The star junior guard — who helped the Raptors finish as the Class 5A runner-up — was selected as Gatorade’s Colorado Player of the Year the organization announced Thursday.

Eaglecrest junior Colbey Ross pulls up for a jump shot during the Class 5A boys state basketball championship game on March 12, 2016, at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. Ross scored 27 points in the Raptors' 66-56 loss to Overland. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Eaglecrest junior Colbey Ross pulls up for a jump shot during the Class 5A boys state basketball championship game on March 12, 2016, at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. Ross scored 27 points in the Raptors’ 66-56 loss to Overland. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Ross averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals for coach John Olander’s 25-3 Eaglecrest team, which won its first 17 games of the season, shared the Centennial League championship and made it all the way to the 5A state final where it lost to league rival Overland. Ross is also one of many marquee players set to play in the inaugural A-Town All-Stars Game, presented by the Aurora Sentinel, scheduled for 1 p.m. March 26 at Aurora Central High School.

Off the court, Gatorade’s press release notes Ross maintains a 3.47 weighted GPA and volunteers locally as a peer tutor and as part of a charitable toy drive in addition to donating his time to a soup kitchen, Walk for Sudan and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Colbey Ross is an incredible athlete and competitor,” Arapahoe head coach Brad Jansen said in a statement. “His leadership skills and maturity have grown over the last three seasons as well. I have seen a talented freshman develop into an outstanding leader, competitor and respectful young man.”

Ross is the 28th different Aurora athlete to receive a Gatorade Player of the Year Award and gives the city a clean sweep on the hardwood in 2015-16, as he joins Gatorade girls player of the year Michaela Onyenwere of Grandview, also a junior.

Ross is also the second boys basketball player of the year from Eaglecrest, joining Ben Baum, who won the award in 1993. Baum was inducted into the school’s first Academic & Athletic Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class last year. Ross is also the third Aurora player to receive the award, with Regis Jesuit’s Bud Thomas winning it back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.

Ross reacted to his selection via Twitter:

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel