• 10-DEC-2015

2015-2016 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year Announcement

Olympian and beach volleyball pro champion April Ross surprised Xavier College Preparatory (Phoenix, AZ) student Khalia Lanier during lunch on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

Ross disguised herself as Santa Claus while passing out candy canes to students in the school’s courtyard. When she appeared before Khalia, it wasn’t a candy cane in her bag, but the 2015-2016 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award instead.

In addition to the above, the video is available on the Gatorade POY YouTube page: Khalia Lanier: 2015-2016 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year​​


About the Gatorade Player of the Year Program

In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Player of the Year Program recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. 

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 USA TODAY High School Sports 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.