For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Taylor Buckley
School: Exeter/West Greenwich (West Greenwich, R.I.)
Athletic achievement: Buckley averaged 17.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this past season and led the Scarlet Knights (21-2) to the Division I state semifinals. Buckley was a Rhode Island Coaches Association First Team All-State selection and a First Team All-Division I honoree. She led all of Division I in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.
Academic excellence: Buckley, who is home-schooled, has maintained a 3.83 GPA.
Exemplary character: A volunteer with the Prudence Island Volunteer Fire Department, she has also donated her time locally on behalf of the Providence Rescue Mission, as a nursery school volunteer and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit third-world hunger awareness.
“Taylor Buckley is very strong and tough to defend,” said Gary Martinelli, head coach of Ponaganset (North Scituate, R.I.). “She can score out to 15 feet. She has great hands and is a tough defender down low. She’s the best low-post presence in the state.”
THE FUTURE: Buckley will be a senior next year.