Eye on POY: California girls basketball

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
11:55
AM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Nirra Fields
Senior Guard, Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, CA)

2011-12 Team record: 29-3
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Brea Olinda in Southern Section Div. 1AA final, 3/2; Ranked No. 10 in ESPNHS Fab 50

2011-12 Points per game: 21.4
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 7.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 4.0

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: UCLA

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Ranked No. 11 senior by ESPNHS; McDonald's and WBCA All-American; Standout for Canada's U-19 Women's National Team.

Kelsey Plum
Junior Guard, La Jolla Country Day School (La Jolla, CA)

2011-12 Team record: 27-1
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Bishop’s in San Diego Section Div. IV final, 3/3; Ranked No. 11 in ESPNHS Fab 50

2011-12 Points per game: 22.1
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 4.0
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.9
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.8

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: MVP of Nike Tournament of Champions; Ranked No. 31 junior by ESPNHS; Div. IV Player of the Year in 2011.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Jordan Adams: Senior Guard, Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, CA)
Imani Stafford: Senior Center, Windward School, School (Los Angeles, CA)
Candace Agee: Senior Center, Silverado High (Victorville, CA)
Hannah Huffman: Senior Guard, Carondelet High (Concord, CA)
Jordin Canada: Sophomore Guard, Windward School (Los Angeles, CA)
Erica McCall: Junior Forward, Ridgeview High (Bakersfield, CA)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.

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