Tampa Prep’s Kailyn Gilbert takes Class 3A player of the year honors

The end of the season was rough for Tampa Prep’s girls basketball team. Five straight losses. No district title. A quick exit in the playoffs. 

Still, that did not keep Kailyn Gilbert from getting noticed. 

All season, the sophomore had the spotlight because she was prolific at producing points. 

Gilbert led the state and finished fifth nationally in scoring with an average of 32.1 points per game. She also was adept at rebounds, averaging an impressive 11.2 per game. 

Those numbers were hard to ignore. 

Last week, Gilbert was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 3A state player of the year. The winners in each classification were selected by a panel of high school girls basketball coaches and reporters. 

“It was really big for me,” Gilbert said of being the 3A player of the year. “I have a lot of goals that sometimes look and sound impossible, but I keep working hard, and I know good things will come like this award.

“It’s only the beginning. I’m constantly motivated to be the best, and I won’t stop until I reach it.”

During a two-game stretch about three months ago, Gilbert scored a combined 96 points, including a whopping 50 in a win over Bishop McLaughlin. She was consistent, too, scoring at least 21 points in every game this season. 

In January, she surpassed 1,000 points in her high school career, an impressive feat for a sophomore. She already has offers from several major Division I programs, including Penn State and Vanderbilt.