Immaculate Heart Academy

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu

Brookelyn Talmadge’23 Named Gatorade NJ Volleyball Player of the Year

Brookelyn is the sixth Gatorade New Jersey Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Immaculate Heart Academy.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Brookelyn as New Jersey’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Brookelyn joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including Lexi Sun (2016-17, Santa Fe Christian School, Calif.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.), Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.) and April Ross (1999-00, Newport Harbor High School, Calif.).

The six-foot senior middle hitter and right-side hitter led the Blue Eagles to a 29-1 record and the Non-Public Group A state title this past season. Brookelyn recorded 323 kills and 51 blocks, posting a .619 kill percentage and a.567 hitting percentage. A First Team All-American selection and the Player of the Year, she put down a career-high 19 kills in IHA’s 2-1 win over Paul VI High in the state final.

Brookelyn has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and received her school’s National Honor Society Award for Character based upon the above-and-beyond execution of her peer-tutoring duties. The president of the IHA Black Student Union, she has volunteered locally as a youth volleyball coach. “Brookelyn simply dominated the competition,” said Anthony McMichael, head coach of Roxbury High School. “She always performed her best in the biggest moments, when the lights were the brightest.” Brookelyn has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Bryant College in Rhode Island 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 & 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.

Brookelyn joins recent Gatorade New Jersey Volleyball Players of the Year JoAnna Andrews (2021-22, Williamstown High School), MacKenzie Wiggins (2020-21, Sparta High School), and Anna Morris (2019-20 & 2018-19, Immaculate Heart Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners. Roughly 5.7 million kids play the Gatorade Player of the Year sports; only 608 are named as a Gatorade Player of the Year.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations. For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, visit

Pictured from left to right in the group photo are Mr. Jason Schlereth, IHA president; Mrs. Maria Nolan, IHA Volleyball coach; Brookelyn Talmadge’23; Mr. Steve Ferro, IHA athletic director; and Miss Kerry Carroll’04, IHA principal.