Matthew Fleming, who spearheaded Bangor High School’s drive to the Class AA boys basketball state championship this season, has been named the Gatorade Maine Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Fleming is the first Bangor High product to earn the Gatorade award, which recognizes athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.
The 6-foot-6 forward, who last week was named Mr. Maine Basketball in recognition of the state’s top senior player, averaged 21.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4 assists, 2 blocked shots and 1.3 steals to lead coach Brad Libby’s Rams to a 20-2 record and the program’s 13th state title and its first since 2011.
“Matt Fleming is a tough matchup for anyone,” Ryan Soucie, head coach at Cheverus High School in Portland, said in a release. “He’s very skilled, he can play both inside and outside, and he has a high basketball IQ.”
Fleming has committed to play next season at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Fleming joins the ranks of former Maine Gatorade winners including Terion Moss of Portland (2018, 2017) and his brother, Andrew Fleming, who earned the honor in 2016 playing at Oxford Hills of South Paris. Moss and Andrew Fleming are now teammates at the University of Maine.
Nick Mayo of Messalonskee High in Oakland, who went on to star at Eastern Kentucky University, was the 2015 Maine recipient.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Matt Fleming 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 12 $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.