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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Eye on POY: New Mexico girls basketball


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.

Taylor Edmondson
Senior Guard, Carlsbad High (Carlsbad, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 17-10
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Sandia in first round of state tourney, 3/2

2011-12 Points per game: 14.9
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.0
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.8
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.1

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Washington State

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; All-Academic Team; District MVP in 2011.

Gina Okoye
Senior Forward/Guard, Eldorado High (Albuquerque, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 24-1
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Highland in first round of state tourney, 3/2

2011-12 Points per game: 19.0
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 8.8
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.2
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 6.0

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Weber State

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Two-time Metro Defensive Player of the Year; First Team All-District; 77-7 record as a varsity player.

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.

Sara Hattis: Senior Forward, Cleveland High (Rio Rancho, NM)
Teige Zeller: Sophomore Center, Grants High (Grants, NM)
Elena Velasquez: Senior Guard, Sandia High (Albuquerque, NM)
Emma Fenske: Senior Guard, Volcano Vista High (Albuquerque, NM)
Marissa Perry: Junior Guard, Hope Christian High (Albuquerque, NM)

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.