CHICAGO (March 12, 2009) — In its third decade of honoring the nation’s
best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with
ESPN RISE, today announced Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir of New Leadership
Charter School as its 2008-09 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball
Player of the Year. Abdul-Qaadir is the first Gatorade Massachusetts
Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from New Leadership
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 Abdul-Qaadir as
Massachusetts’ best high school girls basketball player. Abdul-Qaadir
is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls
Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in mid-March.
The 5-foot-3 senior guard led the Wildcats to a 14-7 record this season
and the quarterfinals of the Division 3 Western Sectional Tournament.
Abdul-Qaadir averaged 41.8 points per game this winter and she
surpassed Rebecca Lobo as the state’s all-time leading scorer,
finishing her career with 3,061 points. A five-year starter for New
Leadership, Abdul-Qaadir is a four-time Springfield Republican First
Team All-Western Massachusetts selection.
Abdul-Qaadir has maintained a 99.5 average in the classroom. She has
volunteered at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and as a
tutor at the New Leadership Charter School.
“You think someone who has scored 3,000 points that they’re a ball hog
or shoot a lot, but that’s not the case,” said Joe Wise, a New
Leadership assistant coach. “She makes the shots that she takes. She
passes the ball a lot. She wants nothing more than to get 15 assists a
night. She’s 5-foot-3—maybe—and our leading rebounder. She’s leading
with assists, steals, everything. She’s in there getting dirty. She’s
everywhere. It is a sight to see.”
Abdul-Qaadir has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball
on scholarship at the University of Memphis 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. The selection process is administered
by ESPN RISE, 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.
Abdul-Qaadir joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Basketball
Players of the Year Felicia Barron (2007-08, Springfield Central HS),
Carolyn Swords (2006-07, Lincoln-Sudbury HS), and Ayla Brown (2005-06,
Noble & Greenough School) among the state’s list of former award
For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including
nomination information, a list of past winners, and the announcement of
the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit
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- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
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- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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