SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.
SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Kylisha Cathey, Jerome Payne, Yara Vasquez, and Jayman Washington on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for December 2016.
Kylisha Cathey Mississippi School for the Deaf Grade: Senior Sport: Basketball Position: Guard
As a multifaceted player, Kylisha has led Mississippi to a 12-game winning streak. Her passion for the game has rubbed off on her teammates as she plays selflessly and with heart. Kylisha is also able to enhance her game with her willingness to take feedback from her coaches. Being the go to player with ball handling skills, outside shooting, and the ability to drive to the basket, Kylisha has put up impressive stats thus far averaging 26.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 4.14 steals per game. During the Hackney Classic at Alabama, Kylisha scored her 1,500th point and will leave the school as one of the all-time leading scorers.
“Kylisha’s commitment to the MSD basketball program is remarkable. She is an exemplary team captain and sets an example for her young teammates both on and off the court.” - Mississippi Girls Basketball Head Coach Victorica Monroe
Jerome Payne Wisconsin School for the Deaf Grade: Senior Sport: Basketball Position: Guard
Jerome has etched his mark on the Wisconsin basketball program by breaking the school’s all-time scoring record of 1,243 points that had stood for 41 years. As a humble player, Jerome approaches each game with such passion and if necessary is more than capable of playing multiple positions with his excellent all-around game and leadership. Jerome averaged a remarkable 25.5 points, 3.5 assists, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.8 steals per game and leading the team to the Neesam Classic co-championship. While away from the basketball court, Jerome serves as a role model and mentor for the boys in the elementary department.
“Jerome is an unique and best basketball player I have ever coached at WSD. He always displays his hard-working and good leadership on the basketball court.” - Wisconsin Boys Basketball Head Coach Michael Eldred
Yara Vasquez Phoenix Day School for the Deaf Grade: Senior Sport: Basketball Position: Point Guard
Yara embodies the meaning of student-athlete excelling both in athletics and in school. While devoting her time to athletics, Yara manages to carry a 3.8 GPA and attend a nursing program at a public school. On the basketball side, Yara is averaging 19.4 points a game while leading her team to a 7-3 record along with earning MVP honors at the Roadrunner Classic at New Mexico. Yara’s devotion has earned respect of her teammates and much of the team’s success can be attributed to her leadership. Yara had the team working out before the season started and often sets up practice on weekends.
“Yara is empowered by her coaches to make decisions on the floor. In return, she empowers her team to run plays, score baskets, and make defensive decisions. I am very fortunate to have been her coach." - Phoenix Girls Basketball Head Coach Megan Tellefson
Jayman Washington Kansas School for the Deaf Grade: Junior Sport: Basketball Position: Forward/Center
Jayman has been a beast on the court this winter leading Kansas to a 5-1 record and a Neesam Classic co-championship at Wisconsin. He is averaging an impressive double-double this season with 21.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game along with a 61% field goal average. Jayman’s success can be attributed to his efforts in practice where he consistently tries to hone his game through hard work and is a role model for his teammates as they look to him for leadership. Jayman is very much involved with school organizations as he is a class president and a member of the Student Body Council.
“Jayman demonstrates leadership and a strong work ethic. His peers and fellow players follow his influence. He contributes a lot to his team's success.” - Kansas Boys Basketball Head Coach William Richard Ward