SOUTHERN COLORADO — The Vanguard School's Dominique Clifford has been named Colorado's boys basketball player of the year by Gatorade .
The senior is the first athlete from Vanguard, in any sport, to win the Gatorade award and was named to the first team All-State for 3A.
Clifford enters elite company as he is the 4th player from Southern Colorado to win the award, joining Lewis-Palmer's Josh Scott, Palmer's Reggie Jackson and Doherty's Patrick Hannaway.
"It is an honor to be apart of this family now, this Gatorade player of the year family, with all of these elite players in the past - it's crazy to think I am in that category now," explained Clifford. "I could not have done it without my teammates and the coaches and the support cast around me. It's a blessing and I do not take it from granted at all. I am truly thankful they picked me because there is a lot of other dudes in the state they could have picked."
The Colorado Buffs commit helped his team go 22-3, including an appearance in the Class 3A Great 8. He averaged 26.3 points, 13.7 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.8 blocks and was also named the 3A player of the year.
Another Division I player, from Colorado Springs, was also named the boys player of the year in Cheyenne Mountain's Javonte Johnson for the 4A division.
The future New Mexico Lobo was also named to the boys first team All-State for 4A, averaging, a state best, 30 points per game.
The Classical Academy's Micah Lamberth was also named to the boys 4A first team, while Harrison's Donta Dawson and Pueblo West's Taylor Harris were named to the boys 4A All-State second team.
On the girls side, Pueblo West's Hannah Simental was named the girls 4A player of the year.
Joining the Northern Colorado commit on the first team is Colorado commit and Air Academy senior, Kylee Blacksten. On the girls 4A All-State second team, three Southern Colorado ladies were honored in Sand Creek's Nikki Derrell, Canon City's Jerika Moore and Sierra's D'Nae Wilson.
In 3A girls basketball, St. Mary's Josephine Howrey was named player of the year.
Howrey's teammate, Seneca Hackey, joined her on the first team, while Catherine Cummings, another Pirate, was named to the second team.
For 2A girls basketball, a pair of Limon Badgers made the first team in Sidney Hines and Toni Lopez. In addition, Peyton's Kayleigh Mannering was named the second team.
For the boys side, Fowler's Vale Leone and Limon's Camden Smithburg were named to the 1A first team All-State, while Limon's Kory Tacha and Fowler's Jonathan Moobley was named to the second team.
Finally in the smallest division of 1A, Springfield's Julia Mondragon was named 1A girls player of the year.
Mondragon is joined by teammate Alexis Crane, who made the second team with Cotopoxi's Koylynn Gulliford.
On the boys side for 1A, only one player is represented from Southern Colorado in Evangelical Christian's Jason Holt, who was named to the second team.