Houlton High School guard Kolleen Bouchard, who concluded her four-year career with a school-record 2,046 points, four regional championships and two state titles, has been named the Gatorade Maine Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The award, which dates back to 1985, goes to the state’s top player based on athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character including community involvement.
The 6-foot Bouchard averaged 29.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.9 blocked shots. The 2018 Miss Maine Basketball shot 56 percent from the floor and 88 percent from the free-throw line in leading the Shiretowners to a 21-1 record and a spot in the state championship game against eventual champion Monmouth Academy.
Bouchard becomes the first player from Aroostook County and the first player from north of Waterville to win the Gatorade girls basketball player of the year honor.
Bouchard was clutch, nailing a 3-pointer with 24.1 seconds left in regulation to force overtime in the 33-30 victory over Dexter in the Class C North championship game. Bouchard scored 27 of the 33 points and had two assists.
In addition to her exploits on the court, Bouchard maintained a 97.079 average in the classroom and is president of the Houlton chapter of the National Honor Society. She is the class valedictorian.
Bouchard plays trumpet in the school band and has volunteered at the Elks Hoop Shoot Free Throw competition and at youth soccer and basketball camps, Special Olympics events and as a mentor in an after-school program.
Bouchard will attend Bentley University in Massachusetts on a basketball scholarship next fall.
She was also an exceptional soccer player, scoring 37 goals last fall, including the game-winner in the Shires’ 1-0 win over Madison in the state Class C championship game.
Bouchard joins recent Gatorade Maine Girls Basketball Players of the Year Emily Esposito (2016-2017, Gorham), Nia Irving (2015-2016, 2014-2015, Lawrence), Allie Clement (2013-2014 & 2012-2013, Catherine McAuley), Meghan Gribbin (2011-12, Windham), Niki Taylor (2010-2011 & 2009-2010, York), Morgan Frame (2008-2009, Waterville), Rachael Mack (2007-2008, Cony), and Ashley Cimino (2006–2007, McAuley) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Kolleen will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support.
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