SPORTS // Awards
Arkansas' 2023 Gatorade Players of the Year
by Sydney Ambrus - 06.01.2023
Chloe Clardy was named Gatorade Arkansas Girls Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Clardy is a graduating senior from Conway High School and has now committed to Stanford University. She is from Conway, Arkansas, and has been playing ball since she could walk. Her father is a basketball coach, and all three of her siblings play basketball as well. She says she feels honored and blessed after getting the news about being named Arkansas Girls Player of the Year.
Throughout the season, she trained in the gym every day with her parents. She is inspired by professional players Breanna Stewart and Chelsea Gray. During her final season with the Wampus Cats, Clary averaged 25 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game. She helped lead the team to win the Class 6A Girls Basketball State Championship. In the championship game, she scored twenty points and earned State Tournament and District MVP.
Gatorade Player of the Year isn’t solely about athletic achievements but also about how the players perform in the classroom. Clardy is a 4.0 GPA student who has committed to the #5 ranked Stanford University. She is looking forward to meeting the people there and playing for Stanford’s coaching staff. She hasn’t decided on a major, but she has a big interest in math and is considering an engineering or finance degree.
Annor Boateng was named Gatorade Arkansas Boys Player of the Year. He was born in Athens, Ohio, but raised in Little Rock and is a junior at Little Rock Central High School. He has been playing basketball since the second grade and credits his older brother Kwame Boateng for being a big motivation for him getting into basketball and loving it. When it comes to what professional players he looks to for inspiration, he likes Kevin Durant and Anthony Edwards.
This past season, Annor averaged 15.9 points, 2.1 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game, leading the Little Rock Central Tigers to the quarter-finals of the 6A state tournament. He says being named Gatorade Player of the Year was a huge accomplishment, as earning the honor was a goal for his junior year.
Throughout the season, Boateng said what kept him motivated was his want for success and his parents. His parents came to the States from another country and thrived. “If they can do that, then I can do it. For sure,” he said.
To prepare for the season, Boateng said he had to be consistent with going to the gym. Even if it was for 45 minutes, he made it a point to go to the gym every day or at least most days of the week. He also says that being around Coach White improved his game. He scored over 1,000 career points and has received several offers from D1 colleges throughout the nation.
Boateng recently received an offer from Stanford and has gotten interest from Harvard. “Without grades, those schools wouldn’t even look my way in terms of recruiting me. … School grades are a big goal for me,” Boateng said. Despite only being a junior, he has already considered possible majors, as he is interested in mechanical engineering and the pharmaceutical field. As he moves forward to his senior year of high school, he says his biggest goal is to maintain his good grades and stay humble.