Northwestern’s 6-foot-1 standout guard Madison Layden was selected as the recipient of the Gatorade Indiana Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year earlier this month.
The award is given to one male and one female athlete from 12 IHSAA sanctioned sports. Based on a selection committee, athletes are evaluated based on athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character. As the first honoree from Northwestern, Principal Tim Shoaff of Northwestern High School expressed pride in Layden receiving the award.
“She’s a hard-working individual on the court and in the classroom,” Shoaff said. “She deserves it. She is a selfless person who puts others first on the court and in the classroom, couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Layden averaged 25.6 points, 6.4 assists, 5.1 steals, and 4.2 rebounds per game this past season as she led the Lady Tigers’ team to a 29-1 season as runner-up in its first appearance in the 2020 Class 4A state championship game. Additionally, the team appeared twice as back-to-back champions in Class 3A. Layden was selected First Team All-State for three years.
“Madison is the most ‘quiet’ great player I’ve ever seen. She makes being great at basketball look effortless,” said Meranda Cooper in a press release, the head girls’ basketball coach at Logansport.
To conclude her high school career, Layden had 2,360 points, 713 assists, 539 steals, and 509 rebounds. She is now Howard County’s top leading scorer, including both boys and girls.
“We are extremely proud of the accomplishment (Howard County’s leading scorer) for her and the Northwestern community. This is an honor not only for her but for all the players who have contributed to the success of our program. She has definitely put in the work to receive this recognition,” said Kathie Layden in a previous interview, Northwestern girls’ head coach and mother of Layden.
Along with her superior basketball skills, Layden is also an All-State honoree in volleyball and tennis.
Additionally, the Purdue-recruit has maintained an unweighted GPA of 4.01, and has volunteered with the Kokomo Humane Society, a veterans’ home, the Special Olympics, coaching youth basketball, and refereeing.
When asked how she felt about all Layden has accomplished, Kathie said in a previous interview she felt a sense of pride as both a coach and a mother.
“As her coach and mom, we have had a tremendous amount of success [over] the years, and we are so proud of her and all the girls we have been fortunate enough to coach,” Kathie said. “Hopefully the success Madison has had will translate to the college game as well.”
As a state winner, Layden will have the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant from Gatorade to a local or national youth sports organization of her choice. Deciding she wanted to give back to the Kokomo community, Layden donated the money to Carver Community Center.
In addition, she will have the option to enter her organization of choice for another $10,000 by writing a brief essay. One essay for each sport will be selected.
As one of the 607 state winners, Layden will be in the running to be named as one of the 12 national winners, which will be announced later this month.