• 22-MAR-2022

2021-22 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award Winner Kiki Rice

Washington, D.C. [March 17, 2022] – In its 37th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Kiki Rice of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. is the 2021-22 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Rice won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the court, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Girls Basketball Players of the Year who have combined for nine WNBA MVP awards, 53 All-Star appearances, 15 WNBA championships, 15 WNBA first round draft picks and two became Hall of Famers.

Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird virtually surprised Rice with the news, while her family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.

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 Rice as the nation's best high school girls basketball player. The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others to evaluate candidates, selected Rice from nearly half a million other student-athletes who play girls basketball nationwide.

Competition for the national award was fierce. Rice topped the list of state winners in girls basketball who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including six returning state Gatorade Players of the Year, 31 with a GPA of 3.75 and above and 33 with signed National Letters of Intent or verbal commitments to play basketball at Division I colleges/universities.

“Kiki is a do-it-all guard who brings a dynamic combo-guard presence to the floor that allows for versatility within offensive schemes,” says Shane Laflin of Premier Basketball/ESPN HoopGurlz. “She excels in the transition game and creates well off the dribble. Sidwell Friends lined up an impressively competitive schedule this season and Rice has led them to an undefeated season in dominant fashion.”

The state’s 2019-20 Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot senior guard had led the Quakers to a 28-0 record and the DCSAA Tournament title this past season, earning her squad the nation's No. 1 national ranking by MaxPreps. Rice averaged 15.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.6 steals per game and also lifted Sidwell Friends to the ISL Division AA tournament championship. A member of the 2021 USA Basketball U18 Junior National 3x3 Team that won a gold medal at the World Cup in Hungary, Rice also won a gold medal with the U16 National Team at the 2019 FIBA Americas Championships in Chile. She is a McDonald’s All-American Game selection and won the 2022 Naismith Award.

Also the 2018-19 Washington D.C. Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Rice has volunteered locally with So Others Might Eat and as a mentor to younger Sidwell Friends students. She has also donated her time as a veteran leader in the Sidwell Friends Athletic Leadership Academy.

Rice has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at UCLA this fall.

“Former POY winners go on to become national champions, first round draft picks and even Hall of Famers,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “With all Kiki Rice has already achieved before high school graduation, we have no doubt she is headed toward a lifetime of similar accomplishments and success on and off the court.”

Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the court. Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

PREVIOUS GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS

YEAR

NAME

HOMETOWN

STATUS

2020-21

Saniya Rivers

Wilmington, NC

University of South Carolina

2019-20

Paige Bueckers

Minnetonka, MN

University of Connecticut

2018-19

Azzi Fudd

Washington, D. C.

University of Connecticut

2017-18

Christyn Williams

Little Rock, AR

University of Connecticut

2016-17

Megan Walker

North Chesterfield, VA

Atlanta Dream

2015-16

Erin Boley

Elizabethtown, KY

Played for University of Oregon

2014-15

Katie Lou Samuelson

Santa Ana, CA

Los Angeles Sparks

2013-14

Brianna Turner

Manvel, TX

Phoenix Mercury

2012-13

Mercedes Russell

Springfield, OR

Seattle Storm

2011-12

Breanna Stewart

Cicero, NY

Seattle Storm

2010-11

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

Santa Ana, CA

WNBA Free Agent

2009-10

Chiney Ogwumike

Cypress, TX

Los Angeles Sparks 

2008-09

Skylar Diggins-Smith

South Bend, IN

Phoenix Mercury

2007-08

Nneka Ogwumike

Cypress, TX

Los Angeles Sparks 

2006-07

Maya Moore

Suwanee, GA

Minnesota Lynx

2005-06

Tina Charles

Middle Village, NY

Phoenix Mercury

2004-05

Abby Waner

Highlands Ranch, CO

Retired from New York Liberty

2003-04

Candace Parker

Naperville, IL

Chicago Sky

2002-03

Candace Parker

Naperville, IL

Chicago Sky

2001-02

Ann Strother

Denver, CO

Retired from Atlanta Dream

2000-01

Shyra Ely

Indianapolis, IN

Retired from Indiana Fever

1999-00

Shereka Wright

Copperas Cove, TX

Retired from Phoenix Mercury

1998-99

Nicole Kaczmarski

Lake Ronkonkoma, NY

Retired from Los Angeles Sparks

1997-98

Tamika Williams

Dayton, OH

Retired from Connecticut Sun

1996-97

Nikki Teasley

Frederick, MD

Retired from Atlanta Dream

1995-96

Jaime Walz

Ft. Thomas, KY

Played for Western Kentucky

1994-95

Stephanie White

West Lebanon, IN

Retired from Indiana Fever

1993-94

Monick Foote

Wilmington, DE

Played for University of Virginia

1992-93

La'Keshia Frett

Hampton, VA

Retired from New York Liberty

1991-92

Katie Smith

Logan, OH

Retired from New York Liberty

1990-91

Michelle Marciniak

Allentown, PA

Retired from Seattle Storm

1989-90

Lisa Leslie

Inglewood, CA

Retired from Los Angeles Sparks

1988-89

Lisa Harrison

Louisville, KY

Retired from Phoenix Mercury

1987-88

Vicki Hall

Indianapolis, IN

Retired from Los Angeles Sparks

1986-87

Kris Durham

Scotch Plains, NJ

Retired from USA Basketball Women's National Team

1985-86

Susan Anderson

Deming, WA

Played for University of Texas, Austin