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Lady Warrior Diamond Miller Named 2018-19 Gatorade NJ Girls’ Basketball Player Of The Year

Lady Warrior Diamond Miller now has the 2018-19 Gatorade New Jersey Girls’ Basketball Player Of The Year award to ad to her bevy of accolades.


All-American Lady Warrior Diamond Miller has been named the 2018-19 Gatorade New Jersey Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.

Miller, a 6’3″ guard who has committed to playing next year for the University of Maryland, has been the driving force behind the Lady Warriors’ historic 31-0 season.

The Lady Warriors are set to face off against Lenape High School at 4 p.m. March 10 for the NJSIAA Group IV State Championship game.

In its press release about the award, the company said it “recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, (and) distinguishes Miller as New Jersey’s best high school girls basketball player.”

Miller is now eligible for the company’s Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, according to the release.

In giving her the award, Gatorade noted her stats – averages of 22.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.1 blocks through 29 games. A First Team All-State honoree and the Skyland Conference Player of the Year, a former member of the USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team and a McDonald’s All-American – and her scholastic achievements – a peer tutor in her school system, she volunteers on behalf of elementary school reading initiatives, breast cancer awareness programs and youth basketball clinics, and has maintained an A-minus average at Franklin High School.

According to the release, 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. 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.

As part of the award, Miller now has the chance to give a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization, according to the release. She can also submit an essay to win one of 12 $10,000 “spotlight grants” to her sports organization of choice, the release said.

Miller’s coach, Audrey Taylor, said in a message that she and the staff “are very happy for Diamond receiving the Gatorade player of the year. All of her hard work and dedication has paid off and we are so proud of her!”

The Gatorade award, said Franklin High School Athletic Director Ken Margolin, “is another feather in her cap.”

“It’s very prestigious, only one per state,” he said. “In the application, it’s not just about basketball, it’s about scholarship and it’s about community service, and she checks off all those boxes.”

Margolin said that people tend to focus on Miller’s athletic achievements and ignore the other aspects of her high school career.

“You forget how good she is academically when we tend to just focus on her athletic ability,” he said. “She really is a well-rounded young lady. She’s an honor student, she’s a leader in the building, a member of the Ultimate Warriors and the Captains’ Leadership Council,” the latter of which is comprised of captains of the school’s sports teams.

“The other thing about Diamond that I love about her is that she’s an innocent kid,” Margolin said. “She’s not jaded. She’s just a young lady who loves playing basketball, and she’s focused on her studies. She’s a good student and good athlete. All the accolades she’s getting are, from my perspective, well-deserved.”

 

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