Player of the Year honors were determined by a statewide media vote (Over 25 media members from all parts of the state) of people that work in media, radio, newspaper, television and finalized by Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas and Conor Nicholl of Sports in Kansas. Players of the Year and Finalists are eligible for a Sports in Kansas Patch. Stay on our feed over the next few days for updated coverage and all-state teams for both boys and girls.
2021 Sports in Kansas 2A Basketball Player of the Year
Harlan Obioha, Hoxie
A returning first team all-state selection, 7-foot-0, 300-pound Hoxie senior Harlan Obioha is among Kansas’ best known athletes. Obioha has collected Division I offers in football and basketball and helped Hoxie to final four showings in football and basketball this school year. Obioha averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds and shot 78 percent from the field, along with 75 percent from the free throw line.
He cleared 1,000 career points in just three years of varsity action. Hoxie finished 24-1 and took a 73-56 upset loss to Alma-Wabaunsee in the state final four. The Indians were trying to win the first boys’ basketball title in school annals and finish as the first-ever Mid-Continent League boys’ basketball undefeated squad for a conference that dates back well over half a century.
Obioha was the leading vote-getter in the MCL, ahead of Ellis’ Brady Frickey and Thomas More Prep-Marian’s Jackson Schulte. Frickey and Schulte were SIK POY finalists in 2A and 3A, respectively. In late season, Keith Riley the coach at Hill City for 50-plus years, noted Obioha’s singular talent, especially defensively. Hoxie went 11-0 overall, including a pair of wins versus Thomas More Prep-Marian, a 3A Final Four squad. TMP coach Bill Meagher tried different defenses versus Obioha, but he continued to finish well inside. The Indians defeated WaKeeney-Trego three times and Ellis twice. Those teams finished 33-7 when not playing Hoxie. In the 73-56 semifinal loss to Alma-Wabaunsee, Obioha tallied 38 points.
Hoxie junior Ashton Dowell and senior Gavin Tremblay were honorable mention all-conference selections. In a state quarterfinal matchup of arguably 2A’s top players, Obioha and Hoxie defeated Sterling and Tyus Wilson (6-6.5). Obioha finished with 14 points despite significant foul trouble. Hoxie has seven all-time final four showings and one final, a runner-up in 2014.
Congratulations to Harlan Obioha on being named the 2021 Sports in Kansas 2A Player of the Year. Good luck in your future endeavors. BTI is a proud supporter of local athletics. Find us online at www.btiequip.com
2A Sports in Kansas Player of the Year Finalists
Brekyn Ratzlaff, Hillsboro
Harlan Obioha, Hoxie
Eli Wiseman, Belle Plaine
Lucas Hammeke, Hutch-Trinity Catholic
Tyus Wilson, Sterling
Brit Dutton, Ellinwood
Dameion Hatten, Sedan
Devin Loudermilk, West Elk
Brady Frickey, Ellis
Miles Kitselman, Lyndon
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