NCHSAA Athletes of the Year

The NCHSAA Athlete of the Year award is the highest athletic honor that any student-athlete in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association can receive. Since its inception in 1986, this award has been bestowed upon some of the most exceptional NCHSAA athletes in the state.

A committee consisting of sportswriters, sports broadcasters from the state, and a panel of NCHSAA staff members selects the winner each spring from nominations received from member schools and media representatives. Nominations are accepted from any NCHSAA member school or media representative throughout North Carolina, and the deadline for submissions is April 30, 2024.

Each member school is eligible to nominate one male and one female from their varsity athletic teams for the year. Over the years, many winners of this award have gone on to achieve great success in collegiate athletics, while others, including Patrick Lennon in professional baseball, Chester McGlockton in the National Football League, and Andrea Stinson in the WNBA, have made their mark in professional sports.

During the 2021-22 school year, Claire Curzan made history by becoming the first NCHSAA student-athlete to participate in the Olympics during her high school career, and she was awarded the NCHSAA Female Athlete of the Year in recognition of her outstanding achievements.

The winners of this award receive the prestigious Pat Best Memorial Trophy, which is named in honor of the late Pat Best. Pat, the former Goldsboro High School principal and NCHSAA president, passed away in 1988. The Pat Best Memorial Trophy serves as a lasting tribute to his legacy and his unwavering commitment to high school athletics.

Female Recipients

Male Recipients