April is Girls Sports Month, and as part of USA TODAY High School Sports’ fourth-annual Girls Sports Month celebration, we’re speaking with some of the top female high school players, influential athletes, coaches and celebrities in the sports world. We will also be highlighting some of the best stories from the past year and trailblazers in girls sports.
Tom Brady has won six Super Bowl championships, so one would expect him to be the best athlete in his family, hands down.
Not so. Just ask the man himself.
“I think Maya (Brady) is already the most athletic person of the family,” the Patriots quarterback told the Boston Globe of his niece, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) senior Maya Brady. “She’s just a great athlete, so competitive. And she’s been on such winning teams and she’s such a great teammate. It’s so impressive.”
That’s no small praise from the man now universally viewed as the greatest quarterback of all-time. And Tom Brady isn’t alone in his praise, either. The younger Brady’s high school coach, California legend Peter Ackermann, calls Maya Brady his Derek Jeter. The stats back him up.
As a senior, Brady is now considered the No. 2 overall softball prospect in the nation. A UCLA signee and four-year starter, she’s batting .511 with seven home runs, 21 runs and 18 RBI through the season’s first 14 games. Incredibly, that’s a tick down from her monstrous junior numbers: .519, 10 home runs, 51 runs and 32 RBI. Behind all that is supremely smooth fielding at shortstop; as a junior, she had just four errors in 31 games.
Fittingly, she’s a member of the ALL-USA Preseason Softball Team, and it would be a stunning turn of events for her to not be on the postseason team.
Now, with roughly half a high school season left, Brady is focusing on capping her high school career in the best way possible. Whether she achieves it or not, Brady can also take comfort in knowing that her most famous uncle (former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is another) is always in her corner, as he told the Globe.
“She’s been a blessing in all of our lives. I’m just proud of everything she’s accomplished and worked toward. What Hannah, her sister, has provided her in support and what her mom Maureen has, too, you know, there’s a lot of love in that environment and that home and it’s just great to see everyone succeed so much.”