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Next Level Eclipse Basketball Club - KC

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Mar, 2020

2019-2020 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year


CHICAGO (March 6, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Payton Verhulst of Bishop Miege High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Kansas Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Verhulst is the second Gatorade Kansas Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bishop Miege 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 Verhulst as Kansas’ 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, Verhulst 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 junior guard had led the Stags to an 18-2 record and the Class 4A state tournament at the time of her selection. Verhulst averaged 17.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 blocks in the regular season. Captain of the USA Basketball U16 Women’s National Team, she earned MVP honors at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship. Verhulst is a two-time First Team All-State honoree and is ranked as the nation’s No. 8 recruit in the Class of 2021 by ESPN.

Also a volleyball standout, Verhulst has volunteered locally on behalf of the Salvation Army, a food bank and youth sports programs.

“Payton Verhulst is the best basketball player I have ever coached against,” said Drew Walters, head coach at Mill Valley High. “She is a great defender and offensively she can get to any spot on the floor. She’s very willing to share the ball, but she knows when to take control of games.”

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.


Next Level Eclipse Basketball Club - KC

PO Box 344 
De Soto, Kansas 66018

Email: [email protected]

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