CHICAGO — In its 32st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, has announced Gabby Curry of Buford High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Player of the Year. Curry is the first Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Buford 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 field, distinguishes Curry as Georgia’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Curry joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert HS, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public HS, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View HS, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas HS, Fla.).
The 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter and libero led the Wolves to a 41-4 record and the Class 5A state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, Curry recorded 405 digs, 254 kills and 72 service aces. A 2016-17 Under Armour First Team All-American, she was also a First Team All-State selection and was named Class 5A Player of the Year.
A member of the National Honor Society as well as her school’s Beta Club and peer leadership team, Curry has volunteered locally on behalf of Kids & Pros athletic camps. “Curry’s greatest strengths are her mind and her leadership,” said John Frederick, head coach at St. Pius X Catholic High. “She has such a will to win, and a will to drag her team on her back to a victory. She makes every ball contact like it’s the most important of the season.”
Curry has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Kentucky 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner Curry joins Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Players of the Year Paige McKnight (2014-15, Dunwoody High School), Haley Templeton (2013-14, Chattahoochee High School), Teegan Van Gunst (2012-13, Whitewater High School), Mary Hannah Arrington (2011-12, Pope High School), Kelly Murphy (2010-11, Walton High School), Mary Hoey (2009-10, Pope High School), Monique Mead (2008-09, Landmark Christian High school) and Betsy Smith (2007-08, Wesleyan School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Curry will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.