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    UConn Freshman Tina Charles Named Gatorade National High School Player of the Year

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    Oden and Charles received their awards at a luncheon emceed by ESPN’s Stuart Scott and attended by former Gatorade award winners Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals (2000-01 California Football Player of the Year, Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat (1987-88 National Boys Basketball Player of the Year), and former Stanford University and USA Volleyball teammates Logan Tom (1998-99 National Volleyball Player of the Year) and Ogonna Nnamani (2000-01 National Volleyball Player of the Year).

    Introduced in 1985, the Gatorade Player of the Year award was one of the first national awards to honor high school athletes for their accomplishments on and off the field in a variety of sports. In 2003, the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards were established to identify and honor the nation’s top overall male and female high school athlete from among the 10 Gatorade National Players of the Year honored during the high school athletic season.

    All Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year nominees will walk the ESPY red carpet and be featured as special guests during The ESPY Awards Show. The show will take place this evening and air on ESPN on Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. EDT.

    "The ESPY Awards honor the best in sports, so it is only fitting that we celebrate the best in high school sports on the same day," said Tom Fox, Gatorade senior vice president of sports marketing. “The Gatorade Player of the Year award has built an incredible legacy in its 21 years. The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards have built on to that legacy, helping to increase the prestige of the program and achieve a reputation among young athletes as the premier honor in high school sports.”

     

    2006 GATORADE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER

    Tina Charles: Tina’s dominance in the paint and overall leadership propelled perennial powerhouse Christ the King to its second straight undefeated season, New York State Federation Class AA championship and No. 1 national ranking by USA Today. Charles led Christ the King to victories over five nationally ranked teams this season, including two wins over intracity rival Murray Bergtraum. Tina will play for the University of Connecticut and Hall of Fame Coach Geno Auriemma this fall.

    Points of Interest

    • Averaged 26.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 5.2 blocked shots per game in 2005-06

    • National Player of the Year – Gatorade, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, USAToday, PARADE

    • McDonald’s All-American (Morgan Wooten Award winner)

    •  2006 Miss Basketball New York State

    • Named New York City Player of the Year by Newsday, the Daily News and the New York Post

    • 2005 Nike Tournament of Champions MVP

    • Career stats include 1,750 points 1,224 rebounds, and 438 blocks

    • 82-2 record as a varsity player

    • Led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship for  Women

       

    2006 GATORADE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES

    The 2005-06 Gatorade National Players of the Year (see below) representing five male and five female sports were nominees for the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards.

    SPORT

    NAME

    HIGH SCHOOL

    BOUND FOR…

    GIRLS

    Volleyball

    Megan Hodge

    Riverside High School
    (Durham, NC)

    Penn State University

    Soccer

    Lauren Cheney

    Ben Davis High School
    (Indianapolis, IN)

    UCLA

    Basketball

    Tina Charles

    Christ the King Regional High School
    (Queens, NY)

    University of Connecticut

    Softball

    Kirsten Shortridge

    Keller High School
    (Keller, TX)

    Baylor University

    Track & Field

    Bianca Knight

    Ridgeland High School
    (Ridgeland, MS)

    Ridgeland HS (Sr.)

    BOYS

    Football

    Mitch Mustain

    Springdale High School
    (Springdale, AR)

    University of Arkansas

    Soccer

    Eric Alexander

    Portage Central High School
    (Portage, MI)

    Indiana University

    Basketball

    Greg Oden

    Lawrence North High School
    (Indianapolis, IN)

    The Ohio State University

    Baseball

    Clayton Kershaw

    Highland Park High School
    (Dallas, TX)

    Los Angeles Dodgers Org.

    Track & Field

    David Klech

    California High School
    (San Ramon, CA)

    UCLA

     

    PAST GATORADE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

    Former winners of Gatorade High School Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors include:

    2003

    Male: LeBron James / Basketball (Arkron, OH / Cleveland Cavaliers)
    Female: Allyson Felix / Track & Field (Los Angeles, CA / USA Track & Field)

    2004

    Male: Dwight Howard / Basketball (Atlanta, GA / Orlando Magic)
    Female: Candace Parker / Basketball (Naperville, IL / University of Tennessee)

    2005

    Male: Greg Paulus / Football (Syracuse, NY / Duke University)
    Female: Cynthia Barboza / Volleyball (Long Beach, CA / Stanford University)

    For more information on the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards and the Gatorade Player of the Year program, visit /playeroftheyear.