Buchtel junior Chris Livingston continues to garner nationwide attention.
The little forward, who is ranked among the nation’s top five players in the class of 2022 by several rankings and college recruiting services, was named Gatorade’s Ohio Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. The victory makes him a finalist for the National Player of the Year award, which will be presented later this month.
Gatorade announced the selection of Livingston by press release on Friday. Soon after, Buchtel coach Rayshon Dent shared the news in the team’s group chat.
“He put a big ‘appreciation’ in all caps,” Dent said. “I know he’s happy. His mother Julia, she’s happy for him, his grandfather Joe, his brother Cordell. I know the family, they are all happy for him. It’s just ecstatic. The kid. , he deserves it. ”
According to Gatorade, this award is chosen by the Gatorade Player of the Year selection committee, “which works with top sports experts and a media advisory board of seasoned and seasoned sports journalists to determine the state winners in every sport “.
Livingston led Buchtel to an 18-5 record in the 2020-21 season and a Division II regional final.
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound junior averaged 31.1 points, 15.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4.7 steals and 4.3 blocks per game for the Griffins.
Livingston finished second for the Ohio’s Mr. Basketball Award, which was won by St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Malaki Branham. Livingston was also a selection for the Beacon Journal All-Star Boys’ Basketball Team and was named the Division II Co-Player of the Year for the Northeastern Interior District along with Branham. Livingston and Branham both won All-Ohio and All-Northeast Inland District first team honors in Division II.
But unlike Branham, who will begin his college career next season at Ohio State, Livingston still has a year of high school. It has aroused the interest of several Division I colleges.
“It says a lot for this young man to receive such a prestigious award as a junior,” Dent said. “He has a chance of being maybe a two-time winner hopefully if everything falls into place and he keeps working hard, which I know he will. As far as our schedule goes. , what better way to start your program than to have, in my eyes, the best player in the country.
“He gives hope to everyone in the community. All the young people who come up behind him can see a young player in their community with a chance to do something great and behave so awesome to be a representative of them. Yeah, it was just great to see and be a part of it. ”
Buchtel fell in his Division II regional championship match against Lima Shawnee.
While Livingston endured the loss hard in March, he explained then that he hoped the game would provide some motivation ahead of his senior year of high school.
Dent said that since that game Livingston’s actions match his words.
“He just returned to the lab,” he said. “He’s worked hard with his coaches, when I talk to him or his family they usually finish a workout or they’re about to get on a plane and travel somewhere to play in a big game. showcase or tournament AAU.
“So he worked really hard and found that good resistance to make him better, whether it was an AAU tournament or in his training, he tries to meet that resistance, overcome it and improve himself every step of the way.”