Mercedes Russell. Courtesy: UT Sports
A future Lady Vol has been named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Mercedes Russell, from Springfield, Oregon, received the award during a surprise ceremony at her school Wednesday morning.
The 6-foot-6 Russell, rated as the No. 1 senior recruit in the nation by ESPN, averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 5.5 blocked shots, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game this season. Her high school team won the Class 5A title the last two seasons.
Russell finished her career with 2,273 points, 1,642 rebounds and 562 blocked shots.
The award honors athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character on and off the field. Previous winners include former Vols Peyton Manning and Candace Parker.