FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECHICAGO (March 8, 2012) —
Contact: Ashley Ginascol (312-729-3622)
In its 27th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Morgan Tuck
of Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.)
as its 2011-12 Gatorade Illinois Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Tuck is the first Gatorade Illinois Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bolingbrook High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Tuck as Illinois's best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced in March, Tuck joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2003-04, 2002-03, & 2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.)
The 6-foot-2 senior wing averaged 29.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.7 steals per game this past season, leading the Raiders (27-2) to the Class 4A super-sectionals. A McDonald's and Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-American selection, Tuck shot 69.4 percent from the field, 46.0 percent from 3-point range and 78.0 percent from the free throw line. The 2009 National Freshman of the Year and 2010 National Sophomore of the Year as named by ESPNHS, Tuck won Class 4A state championships in each of her first three prep seasons. She also played for USA Basketball's 2009 U16 National Team, 2010 U17 World Championship Team and 2011 U19 World Championship Team.
Tuck has maintained a 3.83 weighted GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a youth basketball instructor, she has volunteered as part of community service initiatives in association with the National Honor Society.
"She is the perfect example of what an athlete should be and inspire to be," said Brian Reed, head coach at Joliet High. "She is gracious in victory, and she brings out the best in her team and her opponents. Also, she brings the same intensity in the classroom. Who could ask for more?"
Tuck has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Connecticut this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Tuck joins recent Gatorade Illinois Girls Basketball Players of the Year Ariel Massengale (2010-11, Bolingbrook High School), Tricia Liston (2009-10 & 2008-09, Fenwick), Sarah Boothe (2007-08, Warren Township), Brittany Johnson (2006 – 07, East Richland), and three-time winner Candace Parker (2003-04, 2002-03, & 2001-02, Naperville Central) among the state's list of former award winners.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.