Gatorade Arizona Girls Basketball Player of the Year goes to Perry's Pierre
March 9, 2023 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365
CHICAGO (March 8, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Khamil Pierre of Perry High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Arizona Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Pierre is the first Gatorade Arizona Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Perry High School.
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 Pierre as Arizona’s best high school girls basketball player. Pierre joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Kiki Rice (2021-22, Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C.), Paige Bueckers (2019-20, Hopkins High School, Minn.), Nneka Ogwumike (2007-08, CyFair High School, Texas), and Candace Parker (2003-04 & 2002- 03, Naperville Central High School, Ill.).
The 6-foot-3 senior guard/forward led the Pumas to a 26-3 record and the Class 6A state semifinals this past season. Pierre averaged 24.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.1 steals, 1.6 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. A three-time All-State firstteam honoree, she was named MVP of the Title IX Classic and the Joe Smith Division at the Nike Tournament of Champions. She’s also ranked as the nation’s No. 63 prospect in the Class of 2023 by ESPN.
Pierre has served as a youth summer basketball camp coach and has volunteered locally on behalf of Feed My Starving Children, the Paz De Cristo Outreach Center and House of Refuge. She has also organized a Christmas gift exchange for families in need during the holidays. “She plays well under pressure and every time they needed to make a big shot or come up with a timely rebound or a clutch stop on defense, she always seemed to step up,” said Lynn Wolking, head coach at Folsom High School. “She can definitely control the game and we didn’t have an answer for her in the post.”
Pierre has maintained a weighted 3.64 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Vanderbilt 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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport. Pierre joins recent Gatorade Arizona Girls Basketball Players of the Year Jennah Isai (2021-22, Valley Vista High School), Marisa Davis (2020-21, Valley Vista High School), Alyssa Brown (2019-20, Sahuaro High School), and Dominique Phillips (2018-19, Millennium High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, 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.