Notre Dame Commit Brianna Turner Wins Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year

By Dave Daniels
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

Brianna Turner may have never thought it possible, but the Notre Dame commit was recognized as the top athlete of her age in the entire country this week.

There were quite a few stars in attendance at the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards, and Mia Hamm’s appearance was quite a thrill for all of the new soccer fans in the States. There were six amazing young women to pick from, however only one could be named the Athlete of the Year. My vote will go undiscovered unless someone hits me up on Twitter, but let us just say that Turner was quite high on my ballot.

The 6-foot-3 forward won a Class 5A state championship this past season, and she accomplished that while averaging 20.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.2 steals, 3.9 blocks and 3.7 steals in only 23 minutes per game. That is what we call filling up the box score here at Rant Sports Prep.

As for a favorite next year?  Watch out for Taylor McQuillin.

She absolutely dominated softball on the mound during her junior season with four no-hitters and two perfect games, but she also was effective from the batter’s box (.323 batting average) as well. Being awarded the softball player of the year award is no small feat, and it is even more amazing when you consider that McQuillin is legally blind in one eye.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

She was born with Duane Syndrome, a congenital condition, that caused the blindness in her left eye and hearing loss in her left ear. I am not trying to create a pity party for her by any means, because I don’t think she would want me to.

“I didn’t see it as a setback,” McQuillin said of her condition to Fox Sports. “I just saw it as something that motivated me to prove to people that even though I couldn’t see out of it I am still capable of going out there and playing just like anyone else.”

It is hard enough to play softball at an elite level with two good eyes; her accomplishments despite her limitations are incredible, and she is my favorite to take home the award next season. Her GPA (3.97) will definitely not hurt her case.

Going back to Turner, she will follow Skylar Diggins‘ footsteps to the Fighting Irish, and some day quite soon we will see them guard each other in the WNBA. Maybe Notre Dame’s next great forward will also sign with Jay-Z.

Dave Daniels is a Writer for Follow him on twitter: @AllDave_AllDay, like him on Facebook here or add him to your network on Google.

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