CHICAGO (May 27, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Lashae Dwyer of The Webb School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Dwyer is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from The Webb 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 Dwyer 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 June, Dwyer joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Skylar Diggins-Smith (2008-09, Washington High School, Ind.), Nneka Ogwumike (2007-08, Cy-Fair High School, Texas), Maya Moore (2006-07, Collins Hill High School, Ga.), Candace Parker (2002-03 & 2003-04, Naperville Central High School, Ill.), and Lisa Leslie (1989-90, Morningside High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-7 senior guard led the Feet to a 28-2 record and the Division II-Class A state championship this past season. Dwyer averaged 22.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.6 steals per game and recorded 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in Webb's 54-38 win over Providence Christian School in the state final. The State Tournament MVP and the MaxPreps.com State Player of the Year, Dwyer transferred to Webb from Hamilton Heights Christian Academy and transformed a program that won just four games total during the 2019-20 season.
A native of Toronto, Dwyer has volunteered locally serving concessions at Webb School sporting events, and she has donated her time as a youth basketball coach. "Lashae was definitely the best player we saw all season," said Tara James, head coach of Providence Christian School. "She can score at will and possesses a maturity with the ball in her hands that separates her from everyone else. She simply cannot be stopped offensively."
Dwyer has maintained a B average in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Miami 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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Dwyer joins recent Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Players of the Year Madison Hayes (2019-20, East Hamilton High School), Jayla Hemingway (2018-19, Houston High School), Rhyne Howard (2017-18, Aberdeen Central High School), and Anastasia Hayes (2016-17, Riverdale High School), among the state's list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Dwyer has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Dwyer is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners' grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.