Photo By: Michael Odendahl of CoachOGameDayGraphix
PARKWAY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE LOUISIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (March 8, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Mikaylah Williams of Parkway High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Williams is the first Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Parkway 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 Williams as Louisiana’s best high school girls basketball player. Williams joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Kiki Rice (2021-22, Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C.), Paige Bueckers (2019-20, Hopkins High School, Minn.), Nneka Ogwumike (2007-08, CyFair High School, Texas), and Candace Parker (2003-04 & 2002-03, Naperville Central High School, Ill.).
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-1 senior guard had led the Panthers to a 29-5 record and a berth in the Non-Select Division I state championship game at the time of her selection. Williams averaged 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game through 34 games. A two-time finalist for the Naismith Girls Basketball National Player of the Year award, she is a 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a member of the Nike Hoop Summit Team USA squad.
Williams has volunteered locally at a women and children’s shelter and on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. She has also donated her time as part of multiple community service initiatives with her church youth group. “Mikaylah is a generational talent,” said Keith Greene, head coach of Captain Shreve High School. “She is very tough to game plan for because of how well-rounded of a player that she is. She can do any and everything on the court. The thing I like most about her is she is a very selfless superstar.”
Williams has maintained a weighted 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Louisiana State University 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 the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport. Two-time winner Williams joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Players of the Year Jeriah Warren (2020- 21, LaGrange High School), JerKaila Jordan (2019-20, John Curtis Christian School), and Tiara Young (2018-19, Walker High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student- athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.