Santa delivers national award to Xavier's Lanier

December 9, 2015 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

Khalia Lanier received the highest honor Gatorade bestows to a high school athlete in a specific sport -- Gatorade National Player of the Year. 

Xavier Prep's vollleyball power house received the award Wednesday during a surprise presentation organized by Gatorade and Xavier's administration. Dressed as Santa Claus, Olympic silver medalist April Ross, the 1999 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year, presented Lanier with the National Volleyball Player of the Year award.  

Lanier joined Canyon del Oro alums Kenzie Fowler, a two-time National Softball Player of the Year, and volleyball player Bre Ladd as the only Arizona high school athletes to garner National Player of the Year honors since Gatorade started its prestigious Player of the Year program in 1985.

This year, Lanier led Xavier to a 34-8 record and state runner-up finish while sporting a 4.21 cumulative GPA. The outside hitter's next volleyball stop after her club season is USC.

Lanier's parents, Bob and Rose, were also present during the presentation. Bob, an NBA Hall of Famer, works for the NBA and travelled back home to also surprise her daughter.   

By winning the national honor, Lanier qualified for Gatorade's Female High School Athlete of the Year Award, which is annualy presented during the ESPY awards show in July.  

Here's the video Gatorade produced of Lanier.