March 08, 2019 11:21 AM
The video above is highlights from the March 7 Class 4-A sectional final.
In its 34th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced on Friday that Paige Bueckers of Hopkins High School will be their 2018-2019 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
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. Bueckers, who won the award last year, will now be a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. That award will be announced later in March.
Bueckers joins Haley Jones, a senior guard and forward from San Jose, Calif., and Azzi Fudd, a sophomore guard from Washington, D.C., as finalists for the National Gatorade Player of the Year. That award will be announced in the next week. Fudd is a Naismith Award finalist and Jones has committed to play at Stanford.
Consistently leaving it all on the court. Watch as our three finalists vie to become the 2018-2019 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year, and win the top honor in high school athletics! #GatoradePOY https://t.co/os5gsqgOvL pic.twitter.com/rnbqsqTLn1— Gatorade (@Gatorade) March 8, 2019
The 6-foot junior guard had led the Royals to a 29-0 record and won the Class 4-A sectional final at the time of her selection. Bueckers averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 4.6 steals through 29 games. A starter for the gold-medal winning USA Basketball U17 Women's World Cup Team, she also won a gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games three-on-three competition.
Bueckers was the Minneapolis Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year as a sophomore and is a three-time All-State nominee, according to the release.
The junior also organized her own series of youth basketball clinics, called 'Buckets with Bueckers,' which offered free admission to players in Minnesota and Montana. She also raised funds for local charities by donations and corporate sponsorships.
Bueckers has maintained a 3.78 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year this fall.
The Hopkins guard joins Gatorade Minnesota Girls Basketball Players of the Year Gabi Haack (2016-17, Elk River High School), Taylor Koenen (2015-16, Shakopee High School), Madison Guebert (2014-15, Eastview High School), and Chase Coley (2013-14, Washburn High School) as athletes who have won the basketball award.
Updated: March 08, 2019 11:21 AM
Created: March 08, 2019 09:50 AM
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