GARRETT VALENZUELA / SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Saturday, March 22, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Before the high school basketball season started last November, Bishop Gorman senior point guard Noah Robotham sought the advice of a Gael legend.
The past 25 winners of the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year award
1990: H Waldman, Clark
1991: Darryl Christopher, Western
1992: Kirk Williams, Valley
1993: Chancellor Davis, Cheyenne
1994: Prince Fowler, Western
1995: Kenyatta Clyde, Las Vegas
1996: DeMarlo Slocum, Eldorado
1997: Thomas McTyer, Durango
1998: Matt Siebrandt, Galena
1999: Kevin Gaines, Clark
2000: Lee Hafen, Boulder City
2001: C.J. Watson, Bishop Gorman
2002: C.J. Watson, Bishop Gorman
2003: David Padgett, Reno
2004: Harvey Perry, Cheyenne
2005: Heiden Ratner, Silverado
2006: Marcus Lawrence, Bishop Gorman
2007: Luke Babbitt, Galena
2008: Luke Babbitt, Galena
2009: Anthony Marshall, Mojave
2010: Johnathan Loyd, Bishop Gorman
2011: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman
2012: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman
2013: Marcus Allen, Centennial
2014: Noah Robotham, Bishop Gorman
Johnathan Loyd, a senior at Oregon, has much in common with Robotham. They both were four-year varsity players for the state power, helping Gorman win multiple state championships. Both are pass-first point guards known for their leadership. And both are undersized — Robotham at 6-foot and Loyd at 5-foot-8.
On Friday, the similarities continued.
Robotham was named Nevada’s Gatorade Player of the Year, becoming the fourth Gorman player in the past 25 years to win the award. Loyd was the 2010 recipient.
“I asked (Loyd) if he had any tips. What do I have to do to get it done?” Robotham said. “He told me to just play my game.”
Robotham did that and then some.
He led Gorman in scoring with 16 points, 7.1 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Gorman won its third straight state championship and became the first Gael team in seven seasons to defeat national power Findlay Prep.
“The coaches instilled confidence in me,” Robotham said. “Of all my four years here, I was definitely most comfortable this year.”
He joins an exclusive list of winners.
Gorman grads C.J. Watson (2001 and 2002) and Shabazz Muhammad (2011 and 2012), and Luke Babbitt (2006 and 2007) of Galena High in Northern Nevada were each two-time Gatorade winners and are in the NBA.
Marcus Lawrence of Gorman in 2006 also won the award.
“I’m extremely humbled to be part of a great tradition and to be part of a select few, especially at Bishop Gorman,” Robotham said. “I looked up to those guys before me.”
Like a true point guard, Robotham took little credit for his achievement.
He credited junior post players Chase Jeter and Stephen Zimmerman, a pair of blue-chip recruits, for drawing constant attention from defenses. He mentioned backcourt mate Obim Okeke and wing Nick Blair.
“Those guys took the pressure off me,” he said.
Robotham has scholarship offers from San Jose State and Akron, and heavy interest from schools such as Oregon State. He previously had a Boston College offer and was supposed to be on a recruiting trip this weekend, but Steve Donahue was fired this week as the Eagles' coach.