For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Katelyn Loecker
School: McPherson (Kan.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Loecker averaged 17.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.6 blocks per game this past season, leading the Bullpups (22-4) to the Class 4 state championship game. A returning Class 4A First Team All-State selection as named by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, she shot 51 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free throw line. Loecker recorded 25 points and eight rebounds in a 60-53 loss to Wamego (Kan.) in the title game. She averaged 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals as a junior during McPherson’s 2011 state title run.
Academic excellence: Also a volleyball standout, Loecker has maintained a 4.27 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth basketball instructor, she has volunteered on behalf of her church, as part of breast cancer research fundraisers and at a community Thanksgiving dinner event.
“Katelyn is a player that has exceptional skill and character,” said Jason VenJohn, head coach of rival Winfield (Kan.). “As a coach that has faced her twice, she is a kid that’s unbelievable and a tough assignment no matter what way you try to guard her. And she’s a great defender as well, all while keeping a cool demeanor on the floor.”
THE FUTURE: Loecker will attend Oklahoma State.