Return of the POY: New York's Breanna Stewart

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Girls Basketball Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for.

Name: Breanna Stewart

School: Cicero-North Syracuse (North Syracuse, N.Y.)

Grade: Senior

Position: Forward

Height: 6-foot-4

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade New York Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Led Northstars (22-3) to the Class AA state championship. No. 1 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU HoopGurlz. Member of the 2010 USA Basketball U17 World Championship Team and 2011 USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team. 2009-10 Fourth Team All-American as named by PARADE Magazine. 2009-10 Second Team All-American as named by ESPNHS.


Academics: A average

College: University of Connecticut (verbal)

Extracurricular activities: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House, the March of Dimes, the North Syracuse Optimist Girls Basketball Program and as part of a youth literacy-outreach program.

Mike Olley, head coach of rival Liverpool (N.Y.): “Breanna Stewart is just plain unbelievable. She can run the floor, throw an 80- foot pass on the money, block 3-pointers. I’ve never seen a kid do what she does.”

Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls basketball underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11.

Sierra Calhoun Sophomore guard, Christ the King (Flushing, N.Y.)

Asia Jackson: Senior guard, Peekskill (N.Y.)

A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the program’s behalf. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.