For the more than 30 years, Gatorade has honored the nation’s most elite high school athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character with the Gatorade Player of the Year award. On July 13, the 12 Gatorade National Players of the Year from the 2015-16 season will gather in Hollywood, where the 13th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year award will be presented to the best overall male and female athlete.
In the days leading to the presentation, USA TODAY High School Sports will profile each of the 12 candidates — six boys and six girls.
This installment features National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Erin Boley from Elizabethtown (Ky.).
Elizabethtown (Ky.) High forward Erin Boley was named the 2015-16 Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-2 senior wing led the Panthers to a 30-5 record and the state postseason tournament quarterfinals. Boley, a Notre Dame signee, averaged 24.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.7 assists per game. A 2016 McDonald’s All-American, Boley is rated the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2016 by espnW. She concluded her prep basketball career with 3,325 points, good for seventh on the state’s all-time list. She also corralled 1,431 career rebounds.
A three-time Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year and one of five Naismith Award finalists nationwide, Boley shot almost 65 percent from inside the arc, nearly 50 percent from 3-point range and over 85 percent from the free throw line as a senior. She recorded a double-double in two of every three games this past season and Elizabethtown was 143-27 (.841) in her five years as a starter. The MVP of last summer’s Nike Midwest Showdown and the second-leading scorer in the elite AAU Nike EYBL, Boley earned a silver medal at the 2015 FIBA 3-on-3 U-18 World Championships. She was also named MVP of the 2015 USA Basketball U18 3×3 National Team Tournament.
I’m really shocked and I don’t know how to tell you what was going through my head when Maya Moore walked in. This is a huge honor and I can’t get my head around it. There are so many really talented players in this year’s senior class. This isn’t something you think you’re going to win.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court. Boley is now a finalist for the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award. USA TODAY High School Sports administrates the nationwide selection process in collaboration with Gatorade.
Boley has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and ranks No. 1 in her class. The vice president of the Elizabethtown High School senior class and a four-year class officer, she is a member of her school’s Spanish Club, Beta Club, Pep Club, Art Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A devoted member of the St. Ann’s Catholic Church community, where she is a member of the youth group and serves as a lector, Boley has volunteered locally at the Warm Blessings Soup Kitchen.
MORE: Q&A with Boley
The founder of an after school art program for at-risk students, she has also donated her time to providing after school care at Morningside Elementary School and as a Lady Panther Little League basketball coach and instructor. Boley blogs for WiseEYEsports.com as well.