CHICAGO — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company has selected Sania Feagin of Forest Park High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Feagin is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Forest Park 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 Feagin as Georgia’s best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Feagin joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill High School, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville High School, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central High School, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo High School, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis High School, Ind.), Katie Smith (1991-92, Logan High School, Ohio) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside High School, Calif.).
The 6-foot-4 junior forward led the Panthers to a 26-6 record and a berth in the Class AAAAAA state championship game at the time of her selection. Feagin averaged 17.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists through 32 games. Ranked as the nation’s No. 6 recruit in the Class of 2021 by ESPN.com, Feagin was one of 18 finalists for the 2019 USA Women’s under-16 national team in May. She entered the state title game with 1,278 career points.
Feagin has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and food bank, and has donated her time as a youth basketball coach. “Sania impacts the game before it even starts,” said Vincent Gatling, head coach of M.L. King High. “I have seen her make moves on the court that turn her competitors into fans.”
Feagin has maintained a weighted 3.46 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school 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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Feagin joins Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Players of the Year Kayla McPherson (2018-19, Madison County High School), Jenna Brown (2017-18, The Lovett School), Mikayla Coombs (2016-17, Wesleyan School), Jenna Staiti (2015-16, West Forsyth High School), and Asia Durr (2014-15 & 2013-14, St. Pius X Catholic High School) as athletes who have won the basketball award since its inception in 2007.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Feagin also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.