Frederick teen is nation's top female athlete

March 26, 1997


Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. - Nikki Teasley is no stranger to awards, and on Tuesday the St. John's at Prospect Hall senior received the biggest prize of them all.

Teasley, a four-year starter for the Vikings, was named the Gatorade Circle of Champions National High School Girls' Basketball Player of the Year.

"This clearly is the highest honor I've ever received," Teasley said during a press conference at the Holiday Inn in Frederick. "But I couldn't have done it without my family. Without them, there would be no me. They deserve as much of this award as me."


The national award is based on both athletic and academic performance and distinguishes Teasley as the best high school girls' player in the country. She was selected from more than 445,000 female athletes nationwide and is the first girl from Maryland to receive national honors from Gatorade.

"She's got a lot of awards, but this is the biggest by far," said her mother, Ernestine Teasley. "I'm so happy for her. She's worked hard on and off the court ... She really deserves this."

Teasley's statistics speak for themselves. The four-time Herald-Mail Private School Player of the Year averaged 27 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8 assists and 4.4 steals per game this season and led the Vikings to a 28-3 record.

Off the court, she earned a citation from the Lion's Club for her involvement with local youth activities.

John Foran, Teasley's Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) coach with the Chesapeake Hurricanes for the past two years, was on hand for the presentation. Under his direction, the select all-star team finished second at last year's national championships.

"I was basically on a magic carpet ride for the last two years," Foran said. "Nikki's been like the genie. I'd make a wish, rub the lamp and she'd make it come true.

"Here I was the coach, supposed to be teaching her," he said. "But I wasn't teaching her as much as she taught me. Not about basketball, but about life. Nikki is living testimony that you can achieve your dreams with hard work and determination."

Teasley, who has narrowed her college choices to North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia, is the second Tri-State area athlete to win Gatorade national honors in less than a year. Matt White of Waynesboro, Pa., won the baseball award last year.

The Gatorade Circle of Champions program recognizes athletes in 50 states and the District of Columbia in football, baseball, boys' and girls' basketball, girls volleyball, soccer and boys' and girls' track and field.

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