By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural senior star Brooklyn DeLeye has been named the Gatorade Kansas Volleyball Player of the Year for 2022-2023, earning the award for the second straight season.
DeLeye is the second Gatorade Kansas Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Washburn Rural, with former Junior Blue Kelsey Chipman winning the award in 2004-2005.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of ademic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes DeLeye as Kansas’ best high school volleyball player.
A three-sport standout at Rural, DeLeye is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.
DeLeye, a 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter, led the Junior Blues to a 45-1 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season.
Washburn Rural advanced to the state volleyball tournament four straight seasons during DeLeye's career, posting first, second, third and fourth-place finishes.
DeLeye amassed 457 kills and 324 digs while posting a .503 kill percentage and a .341 hitting percentage. She also recorded 81 assists, 64 service aces and 21 blocks. A MaxPreps.com first-team All-American, DeLeye concluded her prep volleyball career with 2,090 kills.
"Brooklyn is arguably the best player to ever come out of Topeka at her position, and she reached rare territory in becoming what is believed to be the third player to ever get 2,000 kills in a career in Kansas,'' Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said. "She is a solid six-rotation player, she competes, has a drive to succeed, and yet is humble about what she does and who she is. She has set a high standard for all volleyball players at Washburn Rural.''
DeLeye also helped lead Washburn Rural to the 6A state championship in basketball last season and to a runnerup state finish in soccer.
DeLeye works at Common Grounds, the Washburn Rural High School coffee shop, and is the secretary of the school’s National Technical Honor Society. She has volunteered locally as a youth volleyball and basketball coach.
“Brooklyn was very difficult to deal with this year; we lost to them three times and Brooklyn was the reason why,” said Dave Johnson, head coach of state runnerup Blue Valley. “You can’t serve to her because the more she touches the ball the better she gets. And if you let her get going, she can serve you off the court.”
DeLeye has maintained a weighted 4.17 GPA in the classroom and will sign her national letter of Intent next Thursday to play volleyball at Kentucky.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program, now in its 38th year, 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 & field, and awards one National Player
of the Year in each sport.
The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner DeLeye joins recent Gatorade Kansas Volleyball Players of the Year Caroline Bien (2020-21, St. Thomas Aquinas High School), Kendra Wait (2019-20, Gardner Edgerton High School), and Audrey Klemp (2018-19, St. James Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners.