St. Thomas Aquinas’ Karina Gordon is Broward Girls’ Basketball Player of Year for 7A-5A
Before Karina Gordon was the anchor of St. Thomas Aquinas’ third straight state championship in February, she was a part of history in Fort Lauderdale. As a sophomore, she was a key piece of the Raiders’ first-ever girls’ basketball state title and even by then she was already a veteran to varsity basketball, having played in middle school at Miami Country Day.
In all, she won five state titles and put together one of the best careers ever for a South Florida athlete and she heads out with another honor: The senior star is the Miami Herald’s Broward County Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year for Classes 7A-5A.
“It really put a stamp on my legacy,” she said.
Those two state titles in Miami were one thing. Her run at St. Thomas Aquinas was another.
When Gordon enrolled at the high school as a freshman, the Raiders were coming off a heartbreaking loss in a 2019 state championship game. On Gordon’s tour of the school, coach Oliver Berens gave her a bold statement of support.
“You’re going to be the to one start winning state championships and be a part of something special,” Gordon recalled the coach saying and he was right. Gordon played a major role in St. Thomas Aquinas’ first two state titles, and then was the captain and leader for the Raiders’ third straight this year.
The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 15.8 points per game as a senior and scored 20 in St. Thomas Aquinas’ 67-43 rout of Punta Gorda Charlotte in the Class 6A championship last month at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. She’ll play at East Carolina next year.
“She always wanted to have the ball and step up in big moments,” Berens said.
None was bigger than the Region 4-6A championship against rival Blanche Ely in Pompano Beach. It was the Raiders’ final real test of the season, as they rolled through the final four, and they trailed the Tigers by 18 points in the second quarter before back-to-back three-pointers by Gordon sparked a comeback. St. Thomas Aquinas rallied to win and went on to win another state championship.
About a week later, Gordon donned a pair of pitch-black sunglasses as she celebrated her latest ring. For four years with the Raiders, she was as cool as can be.
“A lot of the time, you get young players who come in as freshmen and sophomores,” Berens said, “and they’ve really got to work their way into the moment and into playing an elite role.”
Gordon was always the exception.