Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character. Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Kaylee Johnson
School: Natrona County (Casper, Wyo.)
Sport: Girls Basketball
Athletic Production: The reigning Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Johnson led the Fillies (25-1) to the 2012 Class 4A state championship game as a sophomore. A returning First Team All-State selection, she averaged 21.9 points, 12.8 rebounds, 6.2 blocks, 2.8 steals and 2.6 assists while shooting 60 percent from the floor. Johnson led the state in scoring, blocked shots and field goal percentage during the 2011-12 season.
Academic Achievement: She has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary Character: She has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor, a youth basketball coach and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit an area toddler who was born with multiple complications in her eye.