Plant’s Kendal Cheesman named Gatorade state player of the year

The awards continue to pile up for Kendal Cheesman. 

After leading Plant’s girls basketball team to its first state title two months ago, Cheesman was named the Class 7A player of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers Association and the state player of the year by MaxPreps. 

Now, the Vanderbilt signee can add the Gatorade Florida girls basketball player of the year to the list. 

The Panthers senior forward averaged 17.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this past season. In the 7A final, she scored 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to help Plant knock off defending champion Miami, the team that beat the Panthers in last year’s title game.

Cheesman also is president of student government and has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with her school’s National Honor Society. In addition, she has donated her time to Best Buddies and as a youth basketball coach. 

This is the first time an area has been named the Gatorade state player of the year since Lakewood’s Destanni Henderson during the 2018-18 season. 

Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” campaign, Cheesman has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. Cheesman also is eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization she chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year.