Taylor Rooks ’14 Twice Named Gatorade® State Girls Basketball Player-of-the-Year
Topping off another remarkable year for Taylor Rooks ’14 of Gill St. Bernard’s School, the 6-foot-1 basketball star was announced Gatorade’s returning New Jersey Girls Basketball Player-of-the-Year today.
Established in 1985, Gatorade’s Player-of-the-Year award annually recognizes elite high school athletes displaying outstanding athletic excellence, high expectations of academic achievement and exemplary character both on and off the playing field. Now a two-time recipient of this prestigious honor, Rooks marks the first GSB girls’ basketball player in school history to join the ranks of past honorees including Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and Lisa Leslie (formerly Los Angeles Sparks). This noteworthy distinction also places Rooks in the running for the Gatorade® National Girls Basketball Player-of-the-Year award, whose winner will be determined later this month.
News of Rooks’ second Gatorade® New Jersey Girls Basketball Player-of-the-Year award comes on the heels of several other milestones she has achieved throughout the winter. A true leader on the court, Rooks helped the 2013-14 varsity girls’ basketball program to its eighth straight 20-win (26-4) season, averaging 23.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Under her tutelage, the Knights also clinched their third consecutive Delaware Division Skyland Conference crown, claimed their third successive Somerset County Championship and advanced to the NJSIAA Non-Public B South Sectional final.
Individually, Rooks was nominated for the 2014 McDonald’s All American® Game, received High School All-America honorable mention from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), concluded her high school career with 2,600 points—including 521 scored as a freshman at the Nichols School in Buffalo, N.Y.—to score more career points than any GSB basketball player in school history, and surpassed 1,000 career rebounds. “This truly was a climactic season for Taylor,” said Head Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach Josuf Dema. “I expect nothing less than great things from her in the future and am confident she will carry this steadfast leadership with her to the DI college level this fall.”
Rooks also maintains a 4.2 GPA in the classroom and actively volunteers her free time at local food banks and with Melina’s White Light, a foundation in support of childhood cancer research. Ranked the nation’s number-19 recruit in the Class of 2014 by espnW, she will officially join the Stanford University women’s basketball program in the fall. “I’m looking forward to going to Stanford and maximizing all the potential I have as both a student and athlete,” Rooks said after signing an official National Letter of Intent with Stanford University in November 2013.
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful, and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.