From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior point guard, Duncanville (Texas)
Greatness Present: It’s been more than two years since Ariel Atkins lost a high school basketball game.
Since a loss to Plano (Texas) West on Dec. 3, 2011, early in her sophomore year, the 5-foot-11 guard has led Duncanville to 89 consecutive victories, including a 19-0 start to her senior season. That span includes two Class 5A state titles.
This winter, Atkins has averaged 17.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Duncanville ranks No. 4 in the country on USA TODAY’s Super 25 and owns the nation’s longest active winning streak.
Greatness Past: The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Atkins led Duncanville to a 42-0 record and a second consecutive Class 5A state title as a junior. She averaged 16.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.5 steals, 4.5 assists and 1.0 block per game.
Also the 2012 Player of the Year as named by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and The Dallas Morning News, she collected 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes of action during the 59-36, title-clinching win over Steele (Cibolo, Texas) last season, earning All-Tournament Team honors.
Greatness Future: Atkins has signed with Texas.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.