Photo: StudentandAthlete

Detroit Edison’s Gabrielle Elliott (0) drives to the basket against Southfield Arts & Technology.

   In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Gabrielle Elliot of Detroit Edison Public School Academy Early College of Excellence as its 2019-20 Gatorade Michigan Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Elliot is the second Gatorade Michigan Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Detroit Edison Public Academy.

   The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Elliot as Michigan’s best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Elliot joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill High School, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville High School, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central High School, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo High School, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis High School, Ind.), Katie Smith (1991-92, Logan High School, Ohio) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside High School, Calif.).

   The 5-foot-10 senior wing led the Pioneers to a 20-0 regular-season record and a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2, District 56 championship so far this season. Elliot averaged 22.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 3.6 steals and 1.0 assists through 20 games. A two-time Detroit News First Team All-State selection, Elliot is ranked as the nation’s No. 20 recruit in the Class of 2020 by Prospects Nation.

   Elliot has volunteered locally with Steps in the Right Direction, which donates shoes to underprivileged students in the Detroit area, and she has donated her time as a youth tutor. “Gabrielle is a fierce competitor who does whatever it takes to win,” said Monique Brown, head coach of Edison


 Academy. “She is such a multi-dimensional player that will guard the opponents’ best player, find a way to dig and scratch for the last rebound and also find to put the ball in the basket for the winning shot.”

   Elliot has maintained a 3.33 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Clemson 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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

   Elliot joins Gatorade Michigan Girls Basketball Players of the Year Rickea Jackson (2018-19 & 2017-18, Detroit Edison Public School Academy), Kierra Fletcher (2016-17, Cousino High School), Kysre Gondrezick (2015-16, Benton Harbor High School), Cierra Rice (2014-15, Grosse Pointe South High School), and Lexi Gussert (2013-14, Forest Park High School) as athletes who have won the basketball award since its inception in 2007.

   As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Elliot also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

    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.