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Los Angeles, U.S.A. — The biggest names in high school and professional sports convened in Los Angeles as Gatorade honored the top prep male and female athletes with the tenth annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards. Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Johnathan Gray (Aledo High School/Aledo, Texas) was named the 2012 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year and Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse High School/Cicero, N.Y.) received 2012 Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year honors.
Gray and Stewart received their awards at a dinner emceed by ESPN’s Stuart Scott and attended byRobert Griffin III (2006-07 Gatorade Texas Track & Field Athlete of the Year), Alonzo Mourning (1987-88 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year), Landon Donovan (four-time U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and three-time MLS Cup Champion) Lisa Leslie (1989-90 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year), Brandi Chastain (two-time gold medalist and two-time World Cup Champion) andOgonna Nnamani (2000 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year).
Established in 1985, 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.
In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. In 2003, the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards were established to identify and honor the nation’s top overall male and female high school athletes from among the 12 Gatorade National Players of the Year honored during the high school athletic season.
All Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year nominees will walk the ESPY red carpet and be featured as special guests during The ESPY Awards Show. The show will take place Wednesday evening and air live on ESPN at 9:00 p.m. ET.
“The Gatorade Athlete of the Year awards stand apart in that they honor those who are not only the best on the field of play, but are also proven performers academically, and actively give back to their communities,” said Gatorade President North America and Global Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Robb O’Hagan. “Johnathan and Breanna are outstanding examples of what a leader and a student-athlete should exemplify.”
Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award Winners
Johnathan Gray: Gray led the Bearcats to a 14-2 record and a third consecutive 4A Division II state title. He rushed for 3,886 yards and a state-record 65 touchdowns on 347 carries.
Breanna Stewart: Stewart led the Northstars to a 23-3 record and a second straight New York State Public School AA Championship as well as New York’s Class AA Federation Tournament of Champions title. She averaged 26.4 points per game, 14.2 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists, 4.2 blocks and 3.1 steals per game this season.