East Hamilton’s Madison Hayes Named Gatorade State Player of the Year
(Gatorade press release) CHICAGO (March 6, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Madison Hayes of East Hamilton High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Hayes is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from East Hamilton 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 field, distinguishes Hayes as Tennessee’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, Hayes 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 6-foot-1 senior guard averaged 25.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game this past season, leading the Hurricanes (19-13) to the Region 3-AAA tournament quarterfinals. A McDonald’s All-American Game selection, Hayes was the
2019 Class AAA Miss Basketball winner. Ranked as the nation’s No. 29 recruit in the Class of 2020 by ESPN.com, she concluded her prep basketball career with 3,055 points and 1,584 rebounds.
East Hamilton’s 2020 Homecoming Queen, Hayes has volunteered locally on youth literacy programs and as a youth basketball camp counselor. She has also donated her time on behalf of the East Hamilton Youth Leadership Council. “I have never seen a player who is
more important to her team’s overall success [than Madison],” said Tony Williams, head coach of Cleveland High. “She is a leader and one of the fiercest competitors I have ever seen in the women’s game.”
Hayes has maintained a 3.21 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Mississippi State 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.
Hayes joins Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Players of the Year Jayla Hemingway (2018-19, Houston High School), Rhyne Howard (2017-18, Bradley Central High School), Anastasia Hayes (2016-17, Riverdale High School) and Crystal Dangerfield (2015-16,
2014-15 & 2013-14, Blackman 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,” Hayes 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.