A second chance at a state title might have been the end goal for Eudora’s Mitchell Ballock but the senior shooting guard at least gets to leave for Creighton University with something else in his name.
Ballock was selected as Gatorade’s basketball player of the year after averaging 25.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He helped the Cardinals (19-3) to the Class 4A-Division I sub-state championship game, where they lost to eventual state champion Bishop Miege. Ballock, a two-time Class 4A first team All-State selection, scored 17 points in his final game.
“Mitchell had an unbelievable senior year. Every team we played set their defense up to try and stop or slow him down,” said Eudora head coach Kyle Deterding. “He faced junk defenses almost every game and had two to three guys around him wherever he was on the floor. He is a really good ballhandler, passer, led our team in assists and did a fantastic job of making his teammates better.”
Ballock, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound senior, averaged 20 points per game as a freshman, helping Eudora to the state championship in 2014. He is ranked as the state’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2017 by 247 Sports and is committed to play at Creighton.
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Gatorade named Jared Ridder, a senior forward from Springfield, its Missouri player of the year. He led Kickapoo High to a 26-5 record and a third-place finish in the Class 5 tournament. He is ranked as the state’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2017 by 247 Sports and is committed to play at Xavier.
The last two Kansas City area kids selected by Gatorade were Blue Valley Northwest’s Clay Custer (2013-14) and Rockhurst’s Kyle Wolf (2012-13).
Click here to read more on the Gatorade awards.