Jeff Davis’ Jasmine Walker Named Gatorade Alabama Girls Basketball POY
In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jasmine Walker of Jeff Davis High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Alabama Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Walker is the first Gatorade Alabama Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Jeff Davis 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 Walker as Alabama’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, Walker joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).
The 6-foot-3 senior center led the Volunteers to a 25-6 record and the Class 7A state title this past season. Walker averaged 19.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while recording 13 double-doubles. A finalist for Alabama’s 2016 Miss Basketball award, she was named MVP of the Class 7A state tournament after scoring 18 points to go with six rebounds in a 52-38 victory over McGill-Toolen in the title-clinching win.
Walker has maintained a 3.35 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and as a youth basketball coach.
“Jasmine Walker is one of those rare kids who can do everything at a very high level,” said Patrick Delay, head coach at Sparkman High. “She can post up, shoot from the perimeter, handle the ball, defend, pass and drive to the basket. I would consider her the best player we faced this year and the best player I have seen from Alabama this season.”
Walker has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Florida 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.
Walker joins recent Gatorade Alabama Girls Basketball Players of the Year Shaquera Wade (2014-15, Huntsville High School), Alexis Jennings (2013-14, Sparkman High School), Marqu’es Webb (2012-13, Hoover High School), Jasmine Jones (2011-12, Bob Jones High School), Hayden Hamby (2010-11, West Morgan High School), Kaneisha Horn (2009-10, Ramsay High School), Adrienne Webb (2008-09, Sparkman High School), Courtney Jones (2007-08, Midfield High School), and Alli Smalley (2006–07, Arab High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.