From Staff Reports
---- — CHICAGO — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA Today High School Sports, Thursday announced Whitney Jennings of Logansport High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Jennings is the first Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Logansport 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 court, distinguishes Jennings as Indiana’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, Jennings joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.)
The 5-foot-5 senior guard averaged 32.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 5.1 steals his past season, leading the Berries (24-3) to the Class 4A state semifinals. A 2013 Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports First Team All-State selection, Jennings recorded three triple-doubles and was a 2014 McDonald’s All-American selection committee nominee. She concluded her prep basketball career with 2,641 points, fifth on the state’s career scoring list.
Jennings has maintained a 3.99 GPA in the classroom. A long-time member of the 4-H Youth Development Organization, she has volunteered locally as a peer tutor, library student assistant and youth basketball coach.
“Whitney Jennings is the best player I have ever coached against,” said Jeff Knoy, head coach of McCutcheon High. “She can do it all: score, handle, rebound, execute, you name it. She is the single reason they made the final four.”
Jennings has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Iowa 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA Today High School Sports, 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.
Jennings joins recent Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Players of the Year Stephanie Mavunga (2012-13 & 2011-12, Brownsburg High School), Bria Goss (2010-11, Ben Davis High School), Courtney Moses (2009-10, Oak Hill), Skylar Diggins (2008-09 & 2007-08, Washington), and Ta’Shia Phillips (2006–07, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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