Back in 1985, Gatorade established an award honoring the nation's top high school student-athletes. Since then, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has recognized more than 13,000 state and national winners in 12 sports.
Gatorade Player of the Year alumni include household names like Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Candace Parker, Kerri Walsh and Abby Wambach—a distinguished group, indeed.
This week, we're catching up with Sydney Moss.
A few miles down the road from where she starred in high school, Sydney Moss is laying waste to Division III women’s basketball.
Now a Thomas More College (Crestview Hills, Ky.) sophomore wing, Moss scored a Div. III record 63 pointsin a 106-88 win over Pennsylvania’s Waynesburg University in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference tournament semifinals last week.
The daughter of four-time NFL All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss, she connected on 24-of-41 shots from the floor and 14-of-16 free throw attempts. Moss broke former Oberlin (Ohio) College star Ann Gilbert’s record of 61 points with a pair of free throws in the final 18 seconds.
The 2011-12 Gatorade Kentucky Girls Basketball Player of the Year at Florence (Ky.) Boone County, Moss transferred five miles from home after one year at the University of Florida. She averaged 11.8 points per game for the Gators and captured SEC All-Freshman honors.
The 5-foot-10 Moss has led the Saints to a 28-0 record and D3hoops.com’s No. 1 national ranking. Thomas More opens the NCAA Tournament on Friday with a first-round game against North Carolina’s Salem College. She leads the country in scoring, averaging 28.6 points per game, to go along with 8.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals.
Those numbers are in tune with Moss’ senior year at Boone County, where she averaged 23.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.1 steals and 1.6 blocks to carry the Rebels to a postseason pinnacle: Kentucky’s Sweet Sixteen. Boone’s stay in the four-round state tournament was brief, but Moss (41 points, 13 rebounds) was spectacular in a 72-70, opening-round loss to Lexington (Ky.) Dunbar.
Of course, Moss isn’t the only record-breaking Gatorade alumnus in the family. Her father earned back-to-back Gatorade West Virginia Football Player of the Year honors and also captured the Gatorade boys’ basketball award as a senior in 1995.
Randy Moss is one of 76 student-athletes to win Gatorade awards in separate sports. He very well could have won basketball twice, too, had he not been shared the court as a junior with 2006 NBA champion Jason Williams, the state’s Gatorade honoree in 1994.