SANDIA’S CUMBER NAMED GATORADE NEW MEXICO GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (March 6, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Viane Cumber of Sandia High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade New Mexico Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Cumber is the second Gatorade New Mexico Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Sandia High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Cumber as New Mexico’s best high school girls basketball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced in March, Cumber joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill High School, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville High School, N.C.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central High School, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo High School, Calif.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis High School, Ind.), Katie Smith (1991-92, Logan High School, Ohio) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-10 junior guard led the Matadors to a 21-4 record and the Class 5A state tournament at the time of her selection. Cumber averaged 22.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.3 steals through 25 games. A three-year varsity regular, Cumber was a First-Team All-Metro selection and District Player of the Year in 2019.
Cumber has volunteered locally with the Festival of Trees, which raises money for children with physical challenges and has helped distribute groceries to low-income families on behalf of the Palo Duro Senior Center. Cumber has also donated her time as a youth servant at the Calvary Church. “Viane is an excellent inside-outside player,” said Doug Dorame, head coach at Albuquerque High. “She has great range on her shot and she can post up. She makes everyone around her better.”
Cumber has maintained a weighted 4.01 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Cumber joins Gatorade New Mexico Girls Basketball Players of the Year Carsyn Boswell (2018-19, Carlsbad High School), Amaya Brown (2017-18, Cibola High School), Jaedyn De La Cerda (2016-17, Roswell High School), Amaya Brown (2015-16, Cibola High School), and Danni Williams (2014-15 & v, Clovis High School) as athletes who have won the basketball award since its inception in 2007.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Cumber also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
*release courtesy Gatorade