On Thursday, Clemson signee P.J. Hall of Dorman High School was named the 2019-20 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Hall is the first Gatorade S.C. Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Dorman High and joins his sister Thayer (volleyball, ’15, ’16, ’17) in winning the honor in South Carolina.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Hall to get his thoughts on the prominent award.
“My sister won a few before me, and I really wanted to follow in her footsteps,” he said. “I know it’s a really prestigious award and it’s a great honor to receive. It’s really just a testimony to my team because without them, I know that I wouldn’t be able to get it.”
Hall, the nation’s No. 42 recruit in the 2020 class according to ESPN, was a first-team all-state selection as a senior this past season when he averaged 14.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
The 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward helped Dorman (30-1) win its fourth straight Class 5A state title with a 65-46 victory over Dutch Fork on March 6.
“It was awesome,” Hall said. “Completing that four-peat was something we set a goal for a few years back. We knew we could do it, and the time came and we executed and we got the job done.”
Now a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award, Hall joins an elite fraternity of past state boys basketball award winners, including Karl-Anthony Towns (2012-13 & 2013-14, St. Joseph High School, N.J.), Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Ga.), Chris Bosh (2001-02, Lincoln High School, Texas), Paul Pierce (1994-95, Inglewood High School, Calif.), Chauncey Billups (1993-94 & 1994-95, George Washington High School, Colo.) and Jason Kidd (1991-92, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Calif.).
Hall also joins Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Players of the Year Josiah James (2018-19, Porter-Gaud School), Aaron Nesmith (2017-18, Porter-Gaud School), Jalek Felton (2016-17, Gray Collegiate Academy), Joseph Battle (2015-16, Abbeville High School), and P.J. Dozier (2014-15, Spring Valley High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
“It’s special,” Hall said. “There’s so many incredible players that have had this honor, and just to be able to get me mentioned in the same list, it’s special.”
The award not only recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field or court.
Hall, who has maintained a 3.94 weighted GPA, has volunteered locally with Samaritan’s Feet, a non-profit organization that provides shoes to underprivileged children, and also donated his time serving meals at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen and served as part of an elementary school literacy outreach initiative.
“I really liked the Samaritan’s Feet project that I did,” he said. “It’s church-based, so just how Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, they would sit down and we would wash their feet and then put socks and shoes on them … It was a really humbling experience. And then the soup kitchen, going there and working for the less fortunate people in our community, it’s really awesome to go in there and give back to the community.”
Hall is expected to enroll at Clemson this summer and looks forward to starting the next chapter of his athletic and academic career.
“Man, I can’t wait to get up to Clemson,” he said. “Every time I go up there, it’s fun seeing people I know. I know a ton of people on campus just because it’s close to home, and it’s right in my area, too, about an hour up the road … I definitely can’t wait to get on the court with those guys, too. It’s a really fun atmosphere up there.”
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