Jorge Torres and Makayla Thompson of Central High School Earn Top Honors
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the recipients of the eighth annual Western Massachusetts Player of the Year awards – Jorge Torres and Makayla Thompson, both from Central High School. The awards are presented annually at the Western Massachusetts Senior High School All-Star Games which will be held Friday, March 23rd on the Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“Each year, we look forward to honoring the tremendous student-athletes who are selected for our annual Western Mass All-Star Games,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Jorge and Makayla are the best of the best and we know they will make Western Mass proud as they journey to the next level of basketball and academics.”
The eighth annual boys’ basketball Player of the Year Award will be presented to Jorge Torres, a senior from Central High School. Torres is a 6’4” forward who averaged 15.2 points per game his sophomore year, 16.4 ppg his junior year and 17.8 ppg his senior year. He was named first team All-Western Mass his junior and senior year. Torres played for the Puerto Rico U17 National team, winning a championship as a sophomore and making it to the finals as a junior. Torres excels academically and works hard to help others. He has not yet selected a college, but he has many options and is excited to continue his academic journey and basketball career.
The eighth annual girls’ basketball Player of the Year Award will be presented to Makayla Thompson, a senior from Central High School. Thompson has led the Central Eagles to an impressive 18-2 record, while averaging 14.7 points, 5.2 steals, and 3.9 assists per game. A tenacious on the ball defender and a player that can score on all 3 levels, she scored her 1,000th career point on January 16th in a home game versus Westfield. She has been selected to the All-Western Mass Team twice and led her team to the 2017 state championship. A favorite among her peers, she carries a 3.55 GPA. Thompson plans to continue her playing career in college, but is undecided on a school at this time.
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 23rd, 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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