By Jack Gallop | May 27, 2021 at 9:32 AM EDT – Updated May 27 at 11:06 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Gatorade announced today that Ashley High School guard Saniya Rivers is its 2020-21 Gatorade North Carolina Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Rivers is the first player from Ashley High School to be chosen as Gatorade North Carolina Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She has now won the award three years in a row. River is the first to accomplish that in state history.
The award, which recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Rivers as North Carolina’s best high school girls basketball player. Rivers now qualifies as a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award, which will be announced in June.
The 6-foot-1 senior guard led the Screaming Eagles to a 15-2 record and the state championship semifinals this past season. The two-time returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year averaged 36.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 5.1 assists per game. The North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Player of the year, she is a three time All-State honoree and a McDonald’s All-American. Rivers was also selected to the WBCA High School Coaches’ All-America team and is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2021.
Also a high-jumper for the track team, Rivers is a member of the Ashley Leadership Council and a bible study group. She has volunteered locally as an instructor and mentor for young players at the MLK Center and the Brigade Boys and Girls Club. During the pandemic, she regularly performed shopping duties for an elderly, immunocompromised neighbor.
“Saniya Rivers is the best basketball player I have ever coached against,” said Martin Faison, head coach at Knightdale High. “Her stats are outrageous, but it’s even more spectacular to see it on the court.”
Rivers maintained a 3.38 GPA in the classroom, and signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of South Carolina this fall.
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