In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Lauren Cox of Flower Mound High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Cox is the first Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Flower Mound 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 Cox as Texas’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, Cox 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 state’s returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Cox averaged 21.8 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 2.2 assists per game this past season, leading the Jaguars (23-7) to the area round of the Class 6A state tournament.
The 6-foot-4 senior power forward and center shot 56.5 percent from the field, 35.0 percent from 3-point range and 69.2 percent from the free-throw line.
The 2016 McDonald’s All-American won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Also a volleyball standout, Cox has maintained a 4.29 weighted GPA in the classroom.
In addition to donating her time as a youth basketball instructor, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, Christian Community Action and The Horizons Project. She has also participated in efforts to raise breast cancer awareness and mentor area elementary school children.
“Lauren Cox creates a unique challenge for any opposing coach on both ends of the floor,” said Cherilyn Morris, head coach at rival Plano East Senior High. “She moves well defensively and contests the majority of our team shot attempts, not just the individual she is guarding. She is a threat from the rim to the 3-point line on offense. She is unselfish and does what her team needs to win. She is a fierce competitor, which I believe is her strongest attribute.”
Cox has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Baylor University 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner Cox joins Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Players of the Year Brianna Turner (2013-14, Manvel High School), Ariel Atkins (2012-13, Duncanville High School), Alexis Jones (2011-12 & 2010-11, MacArthur High School), Chiney Ogwumike (2009-10, Cy-Fair), Brittney Griner (2008-09, Nimitz High Shcool), and Nneka Ogwumike (2007-08 & 2006–07, Cy-Fair High School) among the state’s list of former award winners