For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Taylor Rooks
School: Gill St. Bernard’s School (Gladstone, N.J.)
Athletic achievement: She led the Knights to a 23-5 record and the Non-Public B championship game this past season. Rooks averaged 27.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.2 steals, 2.1 assists and 1.7 blocked shots per game. A First Team All-State selection, she was the Somerset County Player of the Year in 2012 and is rated as the No. 30 recruit in the Class of 2014 by Blue Star Basketball.
Academic excellence: Rooks has maintained 4.17 GPA.
Exemplary character: She helped found Melina’s White Light, a foundation that supports childhood cancer research. Rooks has also volunteered on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and a local food bank.
“Rooks has consistently put her team on her shoulders and carried them to victory,” said Dorcas Miller-Edwards, head coach at Bridgewater-Raritan (Bridgewater, N.J.). “She makes all of her teammates better. She has to guard the opponent’s best player on defense and she’s always in position to rebound.”
THE FUTURE: Rooks will be a senior next year.