Eight future top 10 AP programs commits are in the running for the most prestigious award in high school girls basketball
The shortlist for the 2019-20 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award was revealed on Friday and includes some of the biggest names in high school girls basketball.
Established in 1986, the Gatorade Player of the Year awards are given out annually to the top high school student-athletes in each of the twelve most popular sports across the country. The award recognizes student-athletes’ outstanding athletic performance as well as “high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.”
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Last year, Azzi Fudd of St. John’s College High School was named the 2018-19 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year after she averaged 26.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 blocks per game, helping her team win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship and the District of Columbia State Athletic Association tournament title. The then-sophomore also planned and hosted a basketball clinic to raise money for the Pat Summit Foundation, volunteered locally with the Catholic Youth Organization and served as a youth basketball coach while maintaining a 3.68 GPA.
The finalists for this year’s award are:
Te-Hina Paopao– University of Oregon commit from La Jolla Country Day School (La Jolla, Calif.)
Angela Dugalic– University of Oregon commit from Maine West High School (Des Plaines, Ill.)
Maddie Scherr– University of Oregon commit from Larry A. Ryle High School (Union, Ky.)
Taylor Bigby– University of Oregon commit from Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Kylee Watson– University of Oregon commit from Mainland Regional High School (Linwood, N.J.)
Jana Van Gytenbeek– Stanford University commit from Cherry Creek High School (Greenwood Village, Colo.)
Mir McLean– University of Connecticut commit from Roland Park Country School (Baltimore, Md.)
Paige Bueckers-University of Connecticut commit from Hopkins High School (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Bueckers, the No. 1 ranked player in the country, is the likely front-runner for the award. The high school senior is currently averaging 21.4 points, 9.4 assists, 5 rebounds and 5.4 steals per game and just defeated Wazyata High School in the sectional finals on Thursday night with Hopkins’ 60th consecutive win, the third-longest streak in Minnesota history in girls’ basketball.
Previous winners of the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award, including Katie Lou Samuelson, Breanna Stewart and Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike, have gone on to win a combined nine WNBA MVP awards, 49 All-Star appearances and 14 became WNBA first round draft picks.
The winner of the 2019-20 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award will be announced next week.
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