CHICAGO — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, has selected Jenna Brown of The Lovett School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Brown is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from The Lovett 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 Brown as Georgia’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, Brown joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-10 senior point guard averaged 24.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game this past season, leading the Lions (25-5) to the Class AAA state quarterfinals. Brown is a McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a finalist for the Naismith Award. She missed her entire junior year with a knee injury after helping the USA Basketball Under-17 Women’s National Team to a bronze medal at the 2016 World Championships.
A member of Lovett’s Teens Against Prejudice Club, Brown has volunteered locally with developmentally challenged adults and she has donated her time to her school’s student mentoring program. “Jenna is the single best basketball player I have ever seen at the high school level,” said Katie Argall, head coach of The Westminster School. “I often found myself in awe of her moves on the court, even as the opposing coach.”
Brown has maintained a weighted A average in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Stanford University beginning 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.
Brown joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Players of the Year Mikayla Coombs (2016-17, Wesleyan School), Jenna Staiti (2015-16, West Forsyth High School), Asia Durr (2014-15 & 2013-14, St. Pius X Catholic High School), Lexie Brown (2012-13, North Gwinnett High School), Allisha Gray (2011-12, Washington County High School), Diamond DeShields (2010-11, Norcross High School), Kayla Lewis (2009-10, Southwest DeKalb High School), Anne Marie Armstrong (2008-09, Wesleyan School), Alicia Manning (2007-08, Etowah High School), and Maya Moore (2006–07, Collins Hill High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Jenna 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 http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/.