ROELAND PARK, Kan. — There wasn’t much of an off-season for former Bishop Miege standout Payton Verhulst.
After topping Kansas Class 4A in 2021, the 5-star raked up on the postseason award circuit.
Swiping Gatorade Player of the Year honors, USA Today High School Athlete of the Year distinction and her second DiRenna Award.
With awards in tow, the lanky guard packed her bags for Hungary.
“It's just so exhausting,” Verhulst said.
USA finished atop the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup for the ninth time this August. Verhulst averaged 8.3 ppg and 6 rebounds for the team en route to her second USA Basketball Junior National team gold.
“I think just having that trophy is just so relieving. It really just makes everything worth it,” she said during a brief stop in the KC metro.
Supporting ‘Athletes vs Epilepsy,’ Verhulst and her sister Ashton hosted a basketball clinic aimed at spreading awareness around the disease.
“My youngest sister Addy has lived with epilepsy. She actually had brain surgery when she was in kindergarten and since then has been seizure-free,” Verhulst said, adding her sister is ‘one of a kind’ and prefers bowling to basketball.
Combining two of her passions is near and dear to Verhulst.
“When we found this organization ... we wanted to do something that we love … give back to something that really helped our family come together,” Verhulst said.