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 Heidi Hoff
of Brandon Valley (Brandon, S.D.)
as its 2011-12 Gatorade South Dakota Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Hoff is the first Gatorade South Dakota Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Brandon Valley 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 Hoff as South Dakota'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, Hoff 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 5-foot-11 senior guard led the Lynx a 16-7 record and a berth in the Class AA quarterfinals, scheduled for March 8. Hoff averaged 21.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.1 steals through 23 games. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, she scored a school single-game record 45 points in a win over Roosevelt High on Jan. 10.
Hoff has maintained a 3.57 GPA in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society and a devoted parishioner in her church community, she has served as Class President. Hoff has also volunteered locally on behalf of an area homeless shelter and recently completed a service-mission trip to Mexico.
"Heidi Hoff is the reason Brandon Valley has won as many games as they have with her in their program," said Allen Steffen, head coach at Huron High. "She is a well-rounded basketball player with solid fundamentals and she runs the floor very well. I know we couldn't stop her the last couple of years."
Hoff has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of South Dakota 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.
Hoff joins recent Gatorade South Dakota Girls Basketball Players of the Year Alex Kneeland (2010-11, Summit High School), Shaunteva Ashley (2009-10, Roosevelt), Sam Ostarello (2008-09, Stanley County), Alexis Yackley (2007-08, Sully Buttes), Jill Young (2006 – 07, Mitchell Christian), and Jeana Hoffman (2003-04 & 2002-03, Mitchell) 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.