Hurlburt donates Gatorade POY check to Enderlin HEART Program
Hurlburt is the fifth back-to-back North Dakota winner in the award's history.
ENDERLIN, N.D. — The Gatorade North Dakota High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year recently donated his $1,000 prize to the Enderlin HEART Program.
“I figured if I can impact my community and make the community better than when I found it, I feel like that’s a great thing to be able to do,” Enderlin High School's Joe Hurlburt said. “I feel blessed to be in this position.”
On March 16, Hurlburt became the fifth back-to-back winner of the award in North Dakota history. Gatorade provides award recipients with $1,000 to give to a community organization of their choice.
Hurlburt donated the money to the Enderlin HEART Program. The acronym HEART stands for Helping Enderlin Area Residents Thrive. The organization's mission statement reads, “Caring people providing volunteer and community services so elders can live in the comfort of their home and community.”
Every season since 1985-86, Gatorade names a boys basketball and a girls basketball Gatorade state high school player of the year in each state. In the press release announcing Hurlburt as the winner, it notes that the 6-foot-11 senior scored 2,188 career points and is the North Dakota all-time leading rebounder with 1,475 career rebounds.
One criteria for a Gatorade State High School Player of the Year is an athlete’s volunteer activities, which Hurlburt is very passionate about. When Hurlburt won the award for the 2020-21 season, he donated the money to Meals on Wheels in Enderlin. He decided to donate to the HEART Program in order to spread the money out.
Hurlburt has volunteered his time in the community working with Enderlin Elementary School’s basketball program and Eagle Buddies, among many other accomplishments.
As Hurlburt graduates and moves on to play for NCAA Division I, the University of Colorado, he is looking forward to helping serve the Boulder community as well.
“He’s (Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle) excited because he knows Gatorade takes into account your off-the-court reputation too,” Hurlburt said. “So, he’s just excited and proud to have Gatorade players of the year go through his program for sure.”