The stars of the past, present and future aligned at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles earlier this week for the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards, where they witnessed a first in the prestigious prize’s nine-year history. Dylan Bundy and Morgan Brian became the first athletes in their sports to win the national award—Bundy for baseball and Brian in soccer.
A three-time Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year, Bundy pitched the Owasso High School Rams to a Class 6A state title this year, posting an astounding 0.20 ERA and tossing eight complete game shutouts and one no-hitter. He was selected fourth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
Brian, of Frederica Academy [St. Simons Island, Ga.] is the third national winner from Georgia, joining the exalted company of 2004 winner Dwight Howard and 2007 winner Maya Moore. The University of Virginia recruit was a four-year state champion, 2010 Parade National Soccer Player of the Year and captain of the United States U-17 national team.
Gatorade 2011 National Players of the Year: (L-R) Amy Weissenbach, Aisling Cuffe, Morgan Brian, Paige McDuffee, Krista Vansant. (Back row) Justin Worley, Bradley Beal, Dylan Bundy, Lukas Verzbicas, Luis Rendon and Gunnar Nixon.
Formulating the leading sports nutritional products isn’t the only thing Gatorade has reduced to a science. Howard and Moore are only two of the sports world’s brightest stars whose résumés include G’s Athlete of the Year Award. This year’s award presenters, Allyson Felix  and Kevin Love , as well as LeBron James  and Candace Parker , closed their high school careers by claiming top honors from the G.
Joining Felix as presenters for the girls were 1989-90 National Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year Lisa Leslie and Team USA Softball Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Mendoza. Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford presented the trophy to Bundy alongside Love.
Like their predecessors, Bundy, Brian and their 2011 National Player of the Year counterparts are primed for future athletic success. But the nominees shine just as bright in the classroom and community. STACK caught up with all the athletes, both prep and pro, following the Awards reception. Stay tuned for an exclusive episode highlighting their journeys.
Lisa Leslie takes a photo of 2011 Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year Dylan Bundy (R) and 2010-11 Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year Bradley Beal flanking 2007 Male Athlete of the Year Kevin Love.
Gatorade Players of the Year Lisa Leslie (1989-90) and Bradley Beal (2010-11) talk over dinner.
Dylan Bundy, the first baseball player to be named Gatorade Athlete of the Year, is flanked by Matthew Stafford (L), 2005-06 Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year, and Kevin Love, 2007 Gatorade Athlete of the Year.
Morgan Brian holds the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Trophy after being named the nation's top female athlete. She's joined by award presenters Allyson Felix (L), the 2003 Female Athlete of the Year, Lisa Leslie and Jessica Mendoza.
Photos: Gatorade // Susan Goldberg