Reading's Healy named Gatorade Player of the Year

In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Olivia Healy of Reading Memorial High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Healy is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Reading Memorial High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Healy as Massachusetts’s best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced in March, Healy joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-10 senior guard/forward averaged 27.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.3 steals, 3.8 assists and 2.0 blocks per game this past season, leading the Warriors (23-1) to the Division 2 state semifinals. A three-time Middlesex League Player of the Year, Healy is also a two-time Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic and ESPN Boston All-State, and led Reading to the 2012 Division 2 state title. She concluded her prep basketball career with a school-record 1,899 points.

Healy has maintained a 3.27 GPA in the classroom. She has participated in an anti-bullying video as part of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association 12th Annual Student Sportsmanship Essay/Multimedia Contest and has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in addition to donating her time as a youth basketball and volleyball coach.

“Olivia Healy does anything and everything necessary for her team to win,” said Steve Sullivan, head coach at Woburn High. “She is putting up incredible stats while doing all the little things necessary to help her team win in spite of being the focal point of every defense she plays.”

Healy has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Richmond beginning this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Healy joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball Players of the Year Nicole Boudreau (2011-12 & 2010-11, Andover High School), Lauren Battista (2009-10, Oliver Ames), Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (2008-09, New Leadership Charter School), Felicia Barron (2007-08, Springfield Central), and Carolyn Swords (2006–07, Lincoln-Sudbury) among the state’s list of former award winners.