Gatorade has announced the 2021-2022 Basketball Players of the Year in each state. We are so proud to report that New Bedford's Ahnay Adams has been honored with this incredible award for the state of New Hampshire.

Wednesday morning, the athlete's mother opened up an email in the South End of New Bedford and "started hollerin'."  Her mom called up to Tilton and broke the exciting news to her daughter. We could hear her yelling here in Fairhaven.

Adams says she first started playing basketball when she was in fourth grade, but it wasn't until seventh grade when she really started taking the game seriously. That's when she decided to train with Brian Rudolph.

Rudolph, who runs the Next Level basketball program in Dartmouth, says he's known Adams since she was just a little kid.

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"She grew up in my neighborhood in the South End. I always knew she was special, but it really clicked for me when I was her health teacher at Carney Academy," said Rudolph. "She took her schoolwork so seriously."

When Rudolph heard the news Wednesday about Adams being named New Hampshire's Gatorade Player of the Year, he admits he got a lump in his throat. 

"She's like a sister. This gives me goosebumps. I've got chills. My eyes get watery."

Rudolph worked with Adams in seventh and eighth grades. He says he was floored by her work ethic.

"She is the only kid that I've ever had to force to take a rest day: 'You need to rest your body,'" Rudolph said. "She just never wanted to stop."

After graduating from St. James St. John school in New Bedford, Adams decided to attend the prestigious Tilton School, a prep boarding school in Tilton, New Hampshire.

Adams says she misses the busy pace of New Bedford and says it was definitely an adjustment living at the New Hampshire boarding school. "I'm in the boonies," she laughed, "but I'm getting used to it. I just miss my family a lot."

The 5-foot, 6-inch sophomore has been working hard both on the court and in the classroom. She has maintained a B average and led Tilton to a 22-2 regular-season record, helping to earn a No. 2 seed in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council tournament. Tilton won in the semifinals at Tabor Academy on Saturday, then lost to Tabor 57-45 in the finals on Sunday.

Rudolph says the "sky is the limit" for Adams.

"She's already got Division 1 scholarships lined up at places like UMass and Rutgers. I know Virginia Tech is talking to her. Every other week there's another school that wants her."

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