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: Shacobia Barbee
School: Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Led Warriors (33-2) to the 2011 Division I Class AAA state championship game. No. 12 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS HoopGurlz. 2010-11 Class AAA Miss Tennessee Basketball. 2009-10 and 2010-11 Midstate Player of the Year as named by The Tennesseean. 2009-10 ESPNHS Underclass All-American. 2009-10 Class AAA All-State selection as named by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association. 2010 Class AAA All-Tournament Most Valuable Player. 2010 Class AAA state champion.
Academics: 3.45 GPA
College: University of Georgia
Extracurricular activities: In addition to donating her time as a youth basketball instructor, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church.
John Wild, head coach of Riverdale: “Her determination and focus is far beyond her age. She has great work ethic on and off the court. She reflects outstanding leadership through her willingness to improve as an individual as well as a teammate. Shacobia is not a quitter, nor does she accept failure. She has a drive that takes over when her team needs her and will never back down from a challenge. She responds to adversity and can make adjustments as needed.”
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.
Danielle Ballard: Senior guard, Memphis Central (Memphis, Tenn.)
Marjorie Butler: Senior guard, Webb School (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Chandler Cooper: Senior guard, Clarksville (Tenn.)
Bashaara Graves: Senior forward, Clarksville (Tenn.)
Aaliyah Whiteside: Senior guard/forward, Memphis Central (Memphis, Tenn.)
Caya Williams: Senior forward, Mt. Juliet (Tenn.)
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.