Parkway’s Mikaylah Williams has been named the 2021-22 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The honor is not only for her accolades and accomplishments on the court as a player but also in the classroom and in her community.
On the court, the 6-foot-1 junior guard averaged 22.8 points per game, 8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals in helping lead the Lady Panthers to a 33-2 season and the Class 5A finals. She is the first junior to win the honor since Cara Ursin of Destrehan won in 2015-16.
The state honor makes her a finalist for the national Gatorade Player of the Year.
The MVP of last year’s Under-18 3-on-3 World Cup in Hungary, where she led the United States to the gold medal, Williams is a finalist for the Naismith Award and is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023 by HoopGurlz and ProspectsNation.com.
She has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and is a member of the National Beta Club. Williams has volunteered locally at a women and children’s shelter and on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. A participant in the “Clash of the Cans” food drive, she has also donated her time by purchasing and creating Christmas cards for veteran’s homes along with fire and police departments in addition to making toiletry bags for the homeless.
Williams contributes to local food banks as well, and is involved with the teen youth group at her church.
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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Williams joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Girls Basketball Players of the Year winners Jeriah Warren (2020-21, LaGrange High School), JerKaila Jordan (2019-20, John Curtis), Tiara Young (2018-19, Walker High School) and Kourtney Weber (2017-18, Ursuline Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Photo by HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD