Sam’i Roe and Sophie Gatzounas Earn Top Honors
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the recipients of the seventh annual Western Massachusetts Player of the Year awards – Sam’i Roe of Hopkins Academy and Sophie Gatzounas of South Hadley High School. The awards are presented annually at the Western Massachusetts Senior High School All-Star Games which will be held Friday, March 24th on the Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“Sam’i and Sophie are outstanding student-athletes and examples of the tremendous basketball talent Western Mass continues to cultivate,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We look forward to honoring these athletes at our annual Western Mass All-Star Games and wish them well as they journey to the next level of basketball and academics.”
The seventh annual boys’ basketball Player of the Year Award will be presented to Sam’i Roe, a senior from Hopkins Academy. Roe was a three-year varsity player, after moving to Hadley as a sophomore. He was named All-League and All-Western Mass all three seasons, while leading his team to a 56-4 regular season record and three straight Western Mass Championships. In 2016, he was the D4 Tournament MVP. Roe notched over 1,000 points in his career and was the leading scorer in boys’ basketball for the state of Massachusetts this season. Next year, he plans to attend a prep school or junior college.
The seventh annual girls’ basketball Player of the Year Award will be presented to Sophie Gatzounas, a senior from South Hadley High School. Gatzounas is a four-year member of the varsity basketball team, serving as team captain for last three years. The 1,000-point scorer is a three-sport athlete, also playing soccer and competing in javelin and shot put for the track team. An All-Western Mass and All-League selection since her sophomore year, Gatzounas has officially committed to play basketball for The Naval Academy next year.
The Player of the Year award winners were selected by a distinguished panel of local media members. Criteria for the awards include achievement on the court, sportsmanship and character off the court.
Tickets for the All-Star games will be available at the Basketball Hall of Fame box office the night of the games, Friday, March 24th, and will be good for all three games that evening. The first game tips-off at 5:30 p.m. featuring the Division III and IV boys, the second game at 7 p.m. showcases the top girls in Western Massachusetts and the final game of the evening will be the Division I & II boys at 8:30 p.m
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
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