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EVINA WESTBROOK NAMED GATORADE® OREGON GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

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SOUTH SALEM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE® OREGON GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR CHICAGO (March 13, 2017) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Evina Westbrook of South Salem High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Oregon Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Westbrook is the first Gatorade Oregon Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from South Salem 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 Westbrook as Oregon’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, Westbrook 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 state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot senior guard had led the Saxons to a 23-3 record and a berth in the Class 6A state quarterfinals at the time of her selection. Westbrook averaged 24.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 5.1 steals and 1.4 blocks through 26 games. A McDonald’s High School All-American Game selection, Westbrook was a member of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team that won the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Women’s Championship. Rated as the No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2017 by Blue Star Basketball Report, she entered the state quarterfinals with 1,821 points in her prep basketball career. Westbrook has volunteered locally as part of blood-donation drives with the Red Cross and as a youth basketball coach and mentor. She has also donated her time to multiple community-service initiatives through her church youth group. “What makes Evina dangerous is that she can score in a variety of ways,” said Dan Lumpkin, head coach of Forest Grove High. “She is also a ferocious defender and can guard all five positions.” Westbrook has maintained a 3.23 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Tennessee beginning 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 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. Westbrook joins Gatorade Oregon Girls Basketball Players of the Year Katie McWilliams (2014-15, South Salem High School), Jaime Nared (2013-14, Westview High School), Mercedes Russell (2012-13 & 2011-12, Springfield High School), Jen Reese (2010-11 & 2009- 10, Clackamas High School), Kate Lanz (2008-09 & 2007-08, Central Catholic High School), and Michelle Jenkins (2006–07, Southridge High School) among the state’s list of former award winners. As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Evina 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. 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 www.gatorade.com/poy. ##

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