A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Kristin Schatzlein
School: Tolland (Conn.)
Athletic achievement: Schatzlein has led the Eagles to a 22-3 record and a berth in the Class M state semifinals against Ellington (Conn.), scheduled for Friday. Through 25 games, she was averaging 20.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 5.5 steals and 2.1 blocks. A four-time All-Conference selection, Schatzlein was named All-State by the New Haven Register and the Hartford Courant as a junior.
Academic excellence: Schatzlein has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs and has raised funds to benefit diabetes research.
“Schatzlein never gets rattled on the floor and always wants the ball when the game is on the line,” said Dan Matthews, head coach at Bloomfield (Conn.). “She shoots the ball extremely well from beyond the arc, but she also handles the ball well.”
THE FUTURE: Schatzlein has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Fairfield University this fall.