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: Gina Okoye
School: Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Athletic achievement: Okoye led the Eagles to a 26-1 record and a berth in the Class 5A state semifinals against Hobbs (N.M.), scheduled for Thursday. She averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.0 steals through 27 games. Okoye's a First Team All-District selection and has twice been named Metro Defensive Player of the year.
Academic excellence: Okoye has maintained a 3.77 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and an area food bank.
“Okoye is a complete player who really leads her team on both sides of the ball,” said Joe Carpenter, head coach at Roswell (N.M.). “She’s a mismatch, because she can play post or guard, but defense comes first for her. She can shut down the other team’s best player, at any position.”
THE FUTURE: Okoye has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Weber State University this fall.