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: Katelyn Loecker
School: McPherson (Kan.)
Athletic achievement: Loecker led the Bullpups to a 22-1 record entering Wednesday's first round of the Class 4A state tournament against Girard (Kan.). She averaged 16.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.3 blocks through 23 games. A returning Class 5A Second Team All-State selection as named by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, Loecker helped McPherson to a third-place finish at the 2010 Class 4A state tournament during her sophomore season.
Academic excellence: Also a volleyball standout, Loecker has maintained a 4.23 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth basketball instructor, she has volunteered on behalf of her church, as part of breast cancer research fundraisers and at a community Thanksgiving dinner.
“Katelyn is a great player,” said Joe Blasi, head coach at Eisenhower (Goddard, Kan.). “She has great stats. She scores and rebounds very well, but what impresses me most about her is her unselfishness. She sees the floor very well and will pass up an opportunity to score to give her teammate a better shot.”
THE FUTURE: Loecker has verbally committed to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at Oklahoma State University beginning in the fall of 2013.