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Bishop McNamara High School community would like to congratulate Jakia Brown-Turner '19 for her selection as the Gatorade Maryland Girls Basketball Player of the Year for 2018-2019. Jakia is the fourth Gatorade Maryland Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bishop McNamara 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 Jakia Brown-Turner as Maryland's best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Brown-Turner joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.
The 6-foot senior wing averaged 16.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.6 assists per game this past season, leading the Mustangs (31-4) to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Tournament championship game. A McDonald's All-American Game selection, Jakia is a three-time WCAC First Team All-League honoree. She concluded her prep basketball career with a school-record 1,886 points.
Jakia has volunteered locally at a care center for seniors with special needs, and has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives through Bishop McNamara's Holy Cross Service Program. "Jakia is the best player in Maryland, hands down," said Scott Allen, head coach of Paul VI Catholic High. "She can shoot it, has good size and handles the ball well. She is talented."
She has maintained a 3.33 GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state's top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade award's broad criteria. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at North Carolina State University 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Brown-Turner also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
For more about the Bishop McNamara High School Girls Basketball program, please contact Mr. Frank Oliver at Frank.Oliver@bmhs.org or 301-735-8401 or go to Athletics/Girls Basketball.