CINCINNATI — Woodward High School senior point guard Paul McMillan IV was named Wednesday morning as the Gatorade Ohio Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
McMillan IV is the first Gatorade boys basketball player of the year from Woodward.
"It means a lot to me," McMillan IV said. "It just shows that you might not get all the credit you're supposed to get at the moment. I've been doing this since I was a freshman. Some of the times it felt like my hard work and what I was doing went kind of unnoticed a little bit. But, it just really taught me if you just continue to keep doing it, continue to stay consistent, continue to get better - your hard work and dedication to the game will eventually show. People will eventually appreciate and value it.
McMillan led Woodward (23-4) to the Division II regional final this past weekend. He averaged 27 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Last week, McMillan passed LeBron James for sixth place on the Ohio High School Athletic Association's all-time scoring list. McMillan completed his high school career with 2,658 career points.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes McMillan IV as Ohio’s best high school boys basketball player, according to the Gatorade release.
He is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade national player of the year award to be announced later this month.
A member of his school’s Student Athletic Leadership Team, McMillan has served as a mentor for middle school students and has volunteered locally on behalf of toy- and food-donation drives.
“McMillan demonstrates high-end speed and quickness and he can flat out get buckets,” said ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi in a release. “He’s a determined driver with a dependable 3-point shot, and he does a good job of rebounding from his position and coming up with steals.”
McMillan, a three-time Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference player of the year, has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average in the classroom.
"He understood that to make it where you want to make it in basketball you got to have the academics," Woodward coach Jarelle Redden said. "...He approached it how he approached basketball. He wants to be the best. And there is nothing wrong way with that. That's the way you are supposed to go about it."
McMillan's next step is to figure out which college program he will select to play at the next level.
McMillan doesn't have a timetable for a decision but said he is considering a decision sometime in April.
Greater Cincinnati has the Gatorade state boys and girls basketball winners this season. Winton Woods senior point guard Chance Gray (Oregon signee) won the Gatorade state girls basketball player of the year March 9.