High School Basketball

Braden River High sophomore named Gatorade Florida girls basketball player of the year

Braden River High sophomore guard O’Mariah Gordon
Braden River High sophomore guard O’Mariah Gordon

Braden River High sophomore O’Mariah Gordon, who led the Pirates to 24 wins and a trip to the FHSAA Class 8A quarterfinals this season, was named the Gatorade Florida Girls Basketball Player of the Year on Friday.

The 5-foot, 6-inch guard averaged 29.7 points, 6.8 assists, 6.6 rebounds and 5.3 steals, and has 1,454 points through two seasons at Braden River.

On the mid-January night she eclipsed the 1,000-point mark, Gordon posted a quadruple-double — 27 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals — against Venice.

She also scored 42 points against eventual state champion Tampa Bay Tech in the Class 8A-Region 3 title game.

For the season, Gordon hit 56.8 percent of her field goal attempts, including 46.5 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Just as important: Gordon also excels in the classroom, as evident by her weighted 3.77 grade point average.

“O’Mariah is probably the best player I’ve ever coached against in my 28 years of coaching,” said Wade McVay, head coach of Sarasota High. “She’s a phenomenal player with a high basketball IQ.”

Gordon is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Gordon also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing.