FORT MYERS, Fla. - Katlyn Payne, a standout at Bishop Verot and incoming freshman for the FGCU women’s basketball team, has been named The Fort Myers News-Press Girls Basketball All-Area Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Area honors, the newspaper announced on Wednesday, April 7.
“She is the best player in the state,” Bradenton Southeast coach John Harder said after his team defeated Verot in the Region 3A-3 semifinal game. “I’ve been thinking that all year. All she does is score from anywhere. She is unstoppable.”
Payne, the 2010 Southwest Florida Association of Basketball Coaches Miss Basketball recipient, averaged 24.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in leading the Vikings (18-7) to the region semifinals, further than any other Lee County team. In Verot’s 47-44 loss to Bradenton Southeast High in the Region 3A-3 semifinal game, Payne recorded 29 points.
Payne, who chose to play for FGCU over Creighton, Drake and Illinois, scored more than 20 points in 20 of Bishop Verot’s 25 games. She shot 43-percent from the field on the season and scored a season-high 36 points in Verot’s 56-32 defeat of South Fort Myers, a playoff team, on Nov. 24.
The 5-foot-11 guard, who transferred from the Chicago area when her family moved to Fort Myers this year, scored 554 points this season, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the Vikings’ scoring.