In its 27th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, announced Kate Gillespie of Georgetown Visitation as its 2011-12 Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Gillespie is the first Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Georgetown Visitation.
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 Gillespie as District of Columbia's best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced in March, Gillespie joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2003-04, 2002-03, & 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.).
The 5-foot-8 senior guard led the Cubs to a 25-4 record and the Independent School League AA championship this past season. Gillespie averaged 21 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.1 steals per game while shooting at 52 percent from the floor.
Gillespie has maintained a 4.16 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Spanish Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of food and clothing drives for area homeless and a fundraising campaign to send books to schoolchildren in Africa.
Gillespie has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the College of the Holy Cross 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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS 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.
Gillespie joins recent Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Basketball Players of the Year Mooriah Rowser (2010-11, St. John's College High School), Nicola Zimmer (2009-10, St. John's College), Taylor Hilton (2008-09, Sidwell Friends School), Patrice Johnson (2007-08, HD Woodson), Tia Bell (2006 – 07, Woodson), Marissa Coleman (2003-04, St. John's College), and Che'la Turner (2002-03, St. Johns College) among the state's list of former award winners.