The honors keep rolling in for Ridgeview's Erica McCall in what's been a banner senior season.
The latest: McCall was named Thursday morning as the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year by a panel consisting of Gatorade's sports leadership team and USA Today prep sports journalists. It's an honor that puts her at the top of her class in a powerful girls basketball state and makes her a finalist for Gatorade's National Player of the Year award, to be announced later this month.
McCall, a three-time Californian Player of the Year and a McDonald's All-American, is averaging 19.7 points, 15.1 rebounds and 8.5 blocks per game for the Wolf Pack (29-3), which plays Lynwood at 10 a.m. Saturday in Ontario for the CIF Division II Southern California title.
McCall, a 6-foot-3 center who will play for Stanford next year, is Cal Hi Sports' state record-holder in blocked shots, and she ranks third all-time in Central Section history in points, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as academic achievement and “exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.” McCall carries a 4.1 grade-point average and has volunteered locally on behalf of several charitable organizations.
Thursday’s announcement continues a lofty trend for Kern County high school athletics: McCall is the third local athlete honored as Gatorade State Athlete of the Year in a given sport in the past four years.
Shafter’s Anna Jelmini won it for girls track and field in 2009 — and went on to win the national award before heading to Arizona State. Cody Kessler of Centennial, now a quarterback at USC, won the state award for football in 2010, and now McCall can be added to that list.