An outstanding year ventured into off-the-charts territory Thursday when Breanna Stewart of Ciero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.) was named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Stewart, a 6-foot-4 forward who has signed with Connecticut, was surprised by WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings in the school library.
"Let's just say I was not expecting that," Stewart said after accepting the trophy from Catchings. "Oh my gosh, I saw my parents come in the door with Tamika and I thought I was in trouble or something. I was not ready for that to happen."
Already this year, Stewart was named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year after leading the U19 national team to a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA World Championships last summer, the most outstanding player at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Ariz., after leading Cicero-North Syracuse to the semifinals, the Morgan Wooten Player of the Year and the Naismith Award winner.
Next up for Stewart, who already led Cicero-North Syracuse to a section title, is a state semifinal game on Friday against Ossining (N.Y.) Stewart will also play in the 2012 McDonald's All-American Game on March 28 at the United Center in Chicago.