For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Taylor Buckley
School: North Kingstown (R.I.)
Athletic achievement: The returning Gatorade Player of the Year, she has led the Skippers to a 19-2 record and a berth in the Division I state quarterfinals, scheduled for March 15. At the time of her selection, Buckley was averaging 15.5 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. A two-time First Team All-State selection by the Rhode Island Coaches Association, she led all of Division I in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots during the 2012-13 season as a student at Exeter/West Greenwich High.
Academic excellence: Buckley has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: A junior member of the Prudence Island Volunteer Fire Department, she has completed a mission trip to Belize and has donated her time locally to the Providence Rescue Mission and as a youth basketball coach.
“Taylor’s presence in the paint for our team this year and her offensive mindset to rebound the ball and score is second to none,” said Bob Simeone, head coach of North Kingstown. “She is a defensive presence as she controls the boards. Her love for the game and drive to succeed is a coach’s dream.”
THE FUTURE: Buckley has signed with Cedarville University in Ohio.