In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Hayley Frank of Strafford High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Missouri Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Frank is the first Gatorade Missouri Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Strafford 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 Frank as Missouri’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, Frank 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 6-foot-2 junior guard and forward led the Indians to a 33-0 record and a third straight Class 3 state championship this past season. Frank averaged 24.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 3.3 steals and 3.0 blocks per game as Strafford extended its winning streak to 82 games. Rated as the nation’s No. 44 recruit in the Class of 2019 by espnW, Frank was the Class 3 Player of the Year as a sophomore. She concluded her junior year with 2,293 points and 1,213 rebounds in her prep basketball career.
An All-State infielder on the Strafford softball team and a state qualifier for the Indians’ golf team, Frank has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and youth basketball coach. The vice president of her junior class, she has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives as part of her school’s National Honor Society. “Hayley is more polished in her skill development than any player I’ve had the opportunity to coach against,” said Denny McHenry, head coach of Logan-Rogersville High. “She is also as good a cerebral player as she is a skilled player. She is the total package.”
Frank has maintained a weighted 4.05 GPA in the classroom, ranks No. 1 in her class and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award’s broad criteria. She has made a verbal commitment to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Missouri beginning in the fall of 2019.
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.
Frank joins recent Gatorade Missouri Girls Basketball Players of the Year Lauryn Miller (2016-17, Kirkwood High School), Taylor Baur (2015-16, MICDS), Napheesa Collier (2014-15 & 2012-13, Incarnate Word Academy), Sophie Cunningham (2013-14, Rock Bridge High School), Maddie Stock (2011-12, St. Joseph’s Academy), Shelby Winkelmann (2010-11, Hermann High School), Jazmin Hitchens (2009- 10, Incarnate Word Academy), Katherine Harry (2008-09, Rock Bridge High School), Kathleen Scheer (2007-08, New Haven High School), and Tyra White (2006–07, Hickman Mills High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Hayley 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.