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.
Senior forward/center, Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
2011-12 Team record: 24-6
2011-12 Team standing: Play St. Joseph's Academy in Class 5 state quarterfinals March 3; ESPNHS ranking No. 32
2011-12 Points per game: 15.4
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.8
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.6
2011-12 Blocks per game: 3.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.1
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Purdue (NLI)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: McDonald's All-American Game nominee; WBCA honorable mention All-American; 2011 Class 5 All-State selection; quadruple-double (27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 blocks) in 70-49 win over Cor Jesu.
Senior guard, St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis)
2011-12 Team record: 25-5
2011-12 Team standing: Play St. Joseph's Academy in Class 5 state quarterfinals March 3
2011-12 Points per game: 17.8
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.2
2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 5.1
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Missouri (NLI)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Three-time Class 5A First Team All-State selection; Three-time St. Louis Post Dispatch First Team All-Metro selection; Triple-double (13 points, 12 steals, 10 assists) in 66-31 win over Cor Jesu.
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.
Brittany Atkins: Senior guard, Lincoln Prep (Kansas City)
Sophie Cunningham: Freshman guard, Rock Bridge (Columbia, Mo.)
Megan Deines: Senior guard, Glendale (Springfield, Mo.)
Lianna Doty: Senior guard, Kirkwood (Mo.)
Andi Haney: Junior guard, West Plains (Mo.)
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.