CHICAGO (March 13, 2014) — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Crystal Dangerfield of Blackman High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Dangerfield is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Blackman 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 Dangerfield as Tennessee’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, Dangerfield joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.) The 5-foot-5 sophomore point guard led the Blaze to a 34-1 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. A Class AAA First Team All-State selection as named by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association, Dangerfield averaged 14.5 points, 3.6 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.7 rebounds per game. She tallied 19 points, five rebounds and four assists in the 65-44, title-clinching victory against Ridgeway.
The starting point guard for 2013 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team, she has led her Amateur Athletic Union teams to five national championships. Dangerfield has maintained a 3.75 weighted GPA in the classroom. A member of her school’s DECA chapter and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she has volunteered on behalf of her church, as part of a literacy-outreach program and as a youth basketball instructor. Dangerfield has also raised funds to benefit Alzheimer’s research and has promoted healthy living at nearby elementary schools.
“She is a great player and has the ability to take over when her team needs her to,” said Alan Bush, head coach of rival Siegel High. “She really doesn’t have a weakness. She has incredible range with her shooting and can get it off quick. She can score from anywhere. She has tremendous quickness and is a great passer. She is a complete player, probably the best player I’ve seen in 20 years of coaching.”
Dangerfield will begin her junior year of high school this fall.