ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In its 38th 12 months of honoring the nation’s most elite highschool athletes, Gatorade at this time introduced Harper Murray of Skyline Excessive College in Ann Arbor, Mich. is the 2022-23 Gatorade Nationwide Volleyball Participant of the 12 months. Murray received the distinguished award for her accomplishments on and off the court docket, becoming a member of a formidable group of former Gatorade Nationwide Volleyball Gamers of the 12 months who’ve mixed for greater than 91 gold medals and 13 Nationwide Championships.
Murray was stunned with the trophy by her household, coaches and teammates in school. Take a look at a video of the shock right here.
The Gatorade Participant of the 12 months award acknowledges athletes not only for their excellence on the enjoying floor, however for his or her dedication within the classroom and influence of their group. Murray beat out almost half 1,000,000 different student-athletes who play highschool volleyball nationwide, topping the checklist of state winners in volleyball who collectively boast an unimaginable checklist of accomplishments, together with 45 with signed Nationwide Letters of Intent to play volleyball at Division I faculties/universities and 19 with a GPA of 4.0 and above.
“Murray has been a star since delivering 700 kills in her debut highschool season,” mentioned John Tawa, the nationwide highschool and membership author for VolleyballMag.com. “She’s simply so quick and vertically explosive that it is onerous to get in entrance of her. Even when a protection is about, her arm swing is so electrical, it eats defenses up. She additionally has each shot within the guide; give her a set and she is going to rating irrespective of the place she is on the ground. Regardless of her dynamic offensive talent set, Murray is a whole participant. She makes passing look easy and her fast toes permit her to pursue with abandon. She’s a pure chief who not solely desires the strain—she thrives on it.”
The 6-foot-2 senior outdoors hitter amassed 726 kills and 409 digs this previous season, main the Eagles (38-9) to the Division 1 regional semifinals. Murray additionally recorded 86 service aces, 44 assists and 40 blocks. She posted a .519 kill share and a .405 hitting share on the assault. She was named “Finest Spiker” on the Underneath-19 Pan Am Cup in Tulsa, Okla., in August, the place she helped the U.S. crew to the gold medal. The state’s Miss Volleyball winner, Murray was named a First Staff All-American by each MaxPreps and the American Volleyball Coaches Affiliation. She concluded her prep volleyball profession with 2,488 kills and 1.460 digs and likewise earned an AAU U17 nationwide title in membership play.
A member of Ann Arbor Faculties’ Rising Students Management Program, designed to create entry and alternative for underrepresented but excessive reaching college students, Murray has volunteered extensively for the Vada Murray Endowed Fund for Most cancers Analysis, named for her late father. She has additionally served as a lead coach for the Skyline Rising Eagle Volleyball Clinic.
Murray has maintained a 3.62 GPA within the classroom. Profiting from NCAA early signing guidelines, Murray inked a financial-aid settlement that paved the way in which for her to enroll on the College of Nebraska, the place she is going to play volleyball. She graduated from highschool in December and can attend courses within the spring semester.
Along with excellence on and off the sphere of play, Gatorade Gamers of the 12 months additionally pay it ahead for the following era. As a part of Gatorade’s Play it Ahead initiative, Murray will obtain a grant to offer to considered one of Gatorade’s social influence companions – Athlete Ally, Laureus USA, Transfer United, Girls’s Sports activities Basis and Up2Us Sports activities – supporting Gatorade’s ambition to gas the way forward for sport.
“What makes this award particular is we take a look at the entire athlete, not simply their on-court achievements,” mentioned President and Common Supervisor of Gatorade Michael Del Pozzo. “Folks like Harper reveal how athletes could make a distinction and play an important half in fueling the way forward for sport.”
Every year, a range committee evaluates the nation’s prime expertise to decide on one state winner from every of the 50 states in addition to Washington D.C., in 12 completely different sports activities: soccer, women volleyball, girls and boys cross nation, girls and boys basketball, baseball, softball, girls and boys soccer, and girls and boys observe & discipline. In all, 608 athletes are honored every year. From the pool of state winners, one nationwide winner is chosen in every of the 12 sports activities.
To be taught extra concerning the Gatorade Participant of the 12 months program, take a look at previous winners or to appoint student-athletes, go to playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or observe us on social media on Fb at fb.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.
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