A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Malina Howard
School: Twinsburg (Ohio)
Athletic achievement: Howard led the Tigers to a 22-3 record and a berth in the Division I regional final, scheduled for Friday. She averaged 18 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.6 assists through 25 games. A McDonald’s High School All-American Game selection and a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America Game invitee, Howard is ranked as the nation’s No. 7 recruit by HoopGurlz ESPNU 100.
Academic excellence: Howard has maintained a 4.29 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and the Foreign Language Honors Club, she has served as the secretary on her school’s student council and has volunteered locally at an area nursing home and as a youth basketball coach.
“Malina Howard is all that she is hyped up to be,” said Rob Matula, head coach at Mason (Ohio). “She has hands as soft as any great wide receiver and she can shoot from all ranges. What makes her more impressive is her demeanor. She stays collected at all times even while being double- and triple-teamed.”
THE FUTURE: Howard has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Maryland this fall.