Bellevue West stand out junior Chucky Hepburn keeps the accolades rolling as he is the recipient of the Gatorade player of the year in Nebraska.
Hepburn is the third West basketball player to receive the award after Zach Fortune (2000) and Josh Dotzler (2005) received the award.
Jay Ducker won the award for West for football after the Thunderbirds football team also won a state championship. West is the third school in 40 years to win a state championship in football and basketball.
Hepburn, a Wisconsin commit, averaged 17.3 points per game, 6.5 assists per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and 3.1 steals per game. Hepburn led the Thunderbirds to a state championship victory, including a 28 point, 12 assist and zero turnover performance against Omaha Westside in the state semifinal.
It's a huge blessing to win this award as a junior," Hepburn said. "But now it's time to focus on what's next and be able to repeat next year."
With Ducker and Hepburn winning the award this year and Thunderbird football and basketball winning state championships, its safe to say the standard at West is currently extremely high.
"Both football and basketball coaching staff does a tremendous job at preparing their athletes for the next level, not just as a player but as a young adult as well," Hepburn said.
Bellevue West head coach Doug Woodard was pleased when he heard the news.
"Tremendously exited for him," Woodard said. "Very happy that the folks make that decision saw value to the numerous ways he can impact the game."
Woodard added that "he just impacts the game in so many ways."
Woodard also praised Hepburn's willingness to sacrifice individual stats for the betterment of the team.
"I think it means more to him that we won a state championship but that's the type of player that he is."
With guys in the state like Donovan Williams, Hunter Sallis, Latrell Wrightsell Jr, and others, this was an extremely competitive year for Nebraska basketball and that makes it all the more impressive that Hepburn received the award this year.