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: Kirsten O’Neil
School: Winnacunnet (N.H.)
Position: Point guard
Athletic achievement: O'Neil has led the Warriors to a 21-1 record and a berth in the Division I state semifinals against Londonderry (N.H.), played Wednesday. She averaged 15.6 points, 10.2 assists, 4.0 steals, 3.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game entering the state final four as Winnacunnet chases its sixth straight state title. The Warriors own a 70-1 record with the 2011 Division I Second Team All-State selection and three-year starter in the lineup.
Academic excellence: O’Neil has maintained a 3.02 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A two-time Division I First Team All-State forward on the Winnacunnet girls soccer team, she has volunteered locally as a youth basketball and youth soccer instructor and as a peer leader for Winnacunnet High freshmen.
“Kirsten O’Neil is a smart player from the guard position,” said Dan Casey, head coach at Dover (N.H.). “I have seen her have a big impact on games when she is not shooting well by distributing the ball and creating havoc with her perimeter defensive pressure. She has a great understanding of what her team needs from her in order to win games.”
THE FUTURE: O’Neil has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at San Diego State University this fall.