Erin Boley, the Elizabethtown star who’s led the Panthers to a third straight girls’ Sweet Sixteen appearance, was named the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year on Thursday.
The Notre Dame signee became the first player from Kentucky, boy or girl, to win the award three times in a row. Jenni Benningfield (Assumption) won the award in consecutive years in 1999 and 2000. Paintsville legend J.R. Vanhoose is the only boys’ player to win the award multiple times, doing so in 1997 and 1998.
Boley is averaging 24.4 points and 10.7 rebounds. She’s shooting 60.1 percent from the field while hitting 47.6 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. The Panthers open the Sweet Sixteen against Henderson County at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
In addition to being a standout on the court, Boley is on track to graduate as valedictorian of her class and is an active volunteer in the Elizabethtown community. She was the second player from Elizabethtown to win the award; Dana Schubeler earned the honor in 1998.
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She was one of five finalists for the Naismith Trophy, a national award given to the top high school basketball player in the country. Jackie Young, of Princeton Community (Ind.), was named the winner of that award on Thursday. Young, the all-time leader in Indiana boys’ or girls’ basketball history with 3,268 points, has also signed with Notre Dame.