West Linn junior Jackson Shelstad named Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year
Nobody did it better.
In Oregon high school basketball for the recently completed 2021-22 season, nobody did it better than West Linn's Jackson Shelstad.
Shelstad, a 6-foot point guard for the Lions boys team, proved it in the regular season when he was named Player of the Year for the Three Rivers League.
He proved it again in the playoffs when he led the Lions to third place in the Class 6A state tournament and won a berth on the all-tournament first team. He led the 6A tournament in scoring at 26 points per game.
The rest of the state knows it now, too, with Shelstad honored as the Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year for 2021-22.
"He is by far the best player in the state — as fast of a kid as I've seen with the ball in my 24 years as a head coach," said Tigard coach Shawn Alderman. "He can take over games, but also keeps everyone involved."
"He's probably the best athlete I've ever coached," said West Linn coach Eric Viuhkola, who also coached Payton Pritchard, a four-time state champion, consensus All-American at Oregon and first-round draft pick by the Boston Celtics. "He is an incredible natural athlete."
A starter since his freshman year, Shelstad — a University of Oregon commit — took his game to new levels in 2021-22. Over the course of the Lions' 26 games (they went 22-4 overall after placing second in the Three Rivers League), Shelstad averaged 27 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 5.5 assists per game.
"He's just incredibly blessed, with not only quickness and speed and jumping ability and balance and body awareness, but he also has hand-eye coordination and ball skills," Viuhkola said. "He's amazing. Athletically, we're talking about a guy who is, you know, off the charts."
"The thing I appreciate the most is he never gets too high or too low — he just plays the game," Alderman said. "No trash-talking, no pouting about refs' missed calls. He just keeps playing."
Shelstad gets it done in the classroom, too, maintaining a 3.53 GPA, and volunteers as a coach and referee for youth sports camps, including the Lion Hoop Camp and i9 Sports basketball and flag football camps. He also has donated his time fundraising for the Children's Cancer Association in support of the Ellie's Army Foundation, which provides financial assistance to children with life-threatening illnesses.
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