CHICAGO (March 13, 2017) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Cherilyn Molina of Konawaena High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Hawaii Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Molina is the third Gatorade Hawaii Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Konawaena 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 Molina as Hawaii’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, Molina joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Maya Moore (2005-06, Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-5 junior guard led the Wildcats to a 28-3 record and their third straight Division I state title this past season. Molina averaged 15 points, 6.1 assists and 4.3 steals per game, including a team-high 14 points in a 53-48, title-clinching win over Maryknoll. A First Team All-State selection and the Most Outstanding Player of the Division I state tournament, she has boosted Konawaena to a record 104 consecutive wins in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation.
Molina has volunteered locally on behalf of her school’s student-leadership program and as a youth basketball coach and scorekeeper. “Cherilyn Molina definitely was instrumental in helping her team win the state tournament with her individual and leadership skills,” said Angel Kalehuawehe, head coach at Baldwin High. “Being poised on the court under different pressured situations is an asset she possesses with confidence.”
Molina has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school 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 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.
Molina joins Gatorade Hawaii Girls Basketball Players of the Year Chanelle Molina (2015-16, 2014-15, & 2013-14, Konawaena High School), Aliyah Pana (2012-13, Hilo High School), Dawnyelle Awa (2011-12, Konawaena High School), Maiki Viela (2010-11 & 2009-10, Lahainaluna High School), Kanisha Bello (2008-09, Waiakea High School), Jamie Smith (2007-08, Iolani School), and Shawna-Lei Kuehu (2006–07, Punahou School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Cherilyn will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy