a history of honoring the future
The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize and celebrate the nation's most outstanding high school talents for their athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character. Now in its third decade, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has become one of the most prestigious accolades in high school sports.
USA TODAY High School Sports, in partnership with The Gatorade Company, administers the selection process for Gatorade State and National Player of the Year awards. All final selection decisions are the result of a collaborative effort between USA TODAY High School Sports and The Gatorade Company.
stateplayers of the year
In every state that sanctions a given sport, one athlete is selected as Gatorade State Player of the Year in that sport.read more
The Gatorade State Player of the Year award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria: Athletic Achievement — success made at the club, national or international levels of competition, and standout performances in their respective sport. Includes statistical production, honors, skill-set evaluation, leadership ability, overall impact on team success and historical context of accomplishments. Academic Excellence — review of GPA and class rank, as well as SAT and ACT scores, academic honors and distinctions. Exemplary Character — overall sportsmanship, but also membership and participation in positive activities that demonstrate commitment to character and community. State Player of the Year award winners are eligible for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award in their respective sports. For complete program details, click here
nationalplayers of the year
The Gatorade National Player of the Year in each sport is chosen from the pool of State Player of the Year honorees. read more
After Gatorade State Player of the Year awards are announced, a Gatorade National Player of the Year is chosen. Each sport's pool of state winners is evaluated further on their athletic achievements, academic excellence and exemplary character. The 12 national winners selected represent the nation's best all-around high school student-athletes and are then eligible for Gatorade Male and Female Athlete of the Year.
athleteof the year
The Gatorade male and female Athlete of the Year are elected from the pool of National Player of the Year honorees. read more
Each year, a national voting panel consisting of approximately 400 sports journalists, coaches, prep-sports experts and analysts evaluates the 12 Gatorade National Player of the Year honorees. The male and female athletes receiving the highest rating from this panel are named Gatorade Athletes of the Year. The criteria remain the same as the Player of the Year requirements:
- Athletic Achievement
- Academic Excellence
- Exemplary Character
The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards are presented in Los Angeles, California, at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards.