Two UK Hoops Signees Named Gatorade Player of the Year

March 12, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women's basketball signees Sarah Beth Barnette and Kastine (pronounced cas-TEEN) Evans were named by The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, their respective state's 2010 Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Barnette was named Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year while Evans was awarded the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year.

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 Barnette as Kentucky's best high school girls basketball player and Evans as Connecticut's top player. Now finalists for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced in March, Barnette and Evans join 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.).

Barnette, a 6-foot-1 senior forward from Lexington Christian Academy, led the Lady Eagles (22-7) to the 11th Region semifinals this past season, averaging 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 2.2 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. A 2010 McDonald's All-American Game selection committee nominee, Barnette was a 2009 All-State pick and a four-time All-11th Region honoree. She concluded her high school career with 1,928 points and 1,076 rebounds. She has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom and has volunteered locally on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities and as part of multiple community-service initiatives in association with her church youth group.

Evans, a 5-8 guard from Salem, Conn., is averaging 19.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game for Norwich Free Academy. She is coming off a 26-point performance in her team's 63-23 win in the Class LL state tournament quarterfinals last week. The 5-foot-8 guard is ranked as the 67 th overall player and the 18 th -best shooting guard in the country, according to ESPN HoopGurlz. Evans has maintained a 3.60 GPA in the classroom and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth basketball programs.

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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

To celebrate the award's 25th anniversary, Gatorade wants you to vote for the All-Time Greatest Players of the Year at gatorade.com/POY25. To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow them 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 playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.