In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, announced McKinley Bradshaw of Lyman High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Bradshaw is the first Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Lyman 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 field, distinguishes Bradshaw as Wyoming’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, Bradshaw joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-11 junior guard/forward led the Eagles to a 22-3 record and the Class 3A state quarterfinals this past season.

Bradshaw led the state in scoring, averaging 23.3 points per game, along with 10.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 5.4 steals and 1.4 blocks.

She is a three-time Class 3A All-State honoree.

Also a standout volleyball player, track & field athlete and percussion player in the school band, Bradshaw has donated her time as a peer mentor to special needs students.

She has volunteered locally on behalf of her church’s youth group assisting the elderly and has served as a youth basketball and volleyball coach.

“McKinley is really the center of that team, really creating everything for them,” said Jessica Moretti, head coach at Mountain View High. “I would highly recommend her for Gatorade Player of the Year, because I would say, hands down, that she’s the best player in the state. She could play anywhere. She could play college ball right now.”

Bradshaw has maintained a weighted 3.98 GPA in the classroom.

She will begin her senior year of high school in the fall.

UPDATE: Bradshaw has given a verbal commitment to the University of Wyoming.

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 the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.

Bradshaw joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Players of the Year Kalina Smith (2016-17, Campbell County High School), Robbi Ryan (2015-16 & 2014-15, Sheridan High School), Kaylee Johnson (2013-14, 2012-13 & 2011-12, Natrona County High School), Jordan Kelley (2010-11, 2009-10 & 2008-09, Campbell County High School), Kristen Scheffler (2007-08, Lovell High School), and Hillary Carlson (2006–07, Cheyenne Central High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, McKinley will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.

Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.

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