WEAVER HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE ® CONNECTICUT GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (March 10, 2016)— In its 31 st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Shaquana Edwards of Weaver High School as its 2015 – 16 Gatorade Connecticut Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Edwards is the first Gatorade Connecticut Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Weaver 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 Edwards as Connecticut’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, Edwards joins an elite alumni association of past state girlsbasketball award- winners, including Candace Parker (20 01-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998- 99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Mo ore (2005- 06 Collins Hill HS, Ga. ), Rashanda Mc Cants (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 – 5 senior guard led the Beavers to a 19 – 5 record and the second round of the Class M state tournament this past season. Edwards averaged 30.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 4.0 assists per game. A three -time New Haven Register All- State honoree, she was named to USA TODAY’s ALL-USA Connecticut Second Team as a junior.
Edwards has maintained a 3.92 GPA in the classroom. She has raised funds to benefit breast cancer research and has served as a mentor for younger athletes. “Edwards just cannot be defended,” said Russ Crist, head coach at Farmington High. “She’s unstoppable on offense and she gets her teammates shots as well. She’s also an underrated rebounder and defender.”
Edwards has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at La Salle University 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 works with top sport -specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Edwards joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Girls Basketball Players of the Year:
Kiah Gillespie (2014- 15 & 2013 – 14, Capital Preparatory Magnet School),
Sarah Veilleux (2012 – 13, RHAM High School ),
Kristin Schatzlein (2011 – 12, Tolland High School ),
Katie Mahoney (2010 – 11, Bacon Academy ),
Kastine Evans (2009 – 10, Norwich FreeAcademy ),
Symone Roberts (2008 – 09 , New Britain High School ),
Heather Buck (2007 – 08 & 2006 – 07 , Stonington High School )
among the state’s list of former award winners.
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