High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Bartlesville

Eye on POY: Oklahoma volleyball

December, 3, 2011
The window on the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year race is closing, and time is running out for student-athletes to state their POY case. 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.

Inky Ajanaku
file photoInky Ajanaku is a top candidate for Gatorade Oklahoma Volleyball Player of the Year
Inky Ajanaku
Senior middle blocker, Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, OK)

2011 Team record: 32-3
2011 Team standing: Won Class 6A state title

2011 Kills: 537
2011 Blocks: 127
2011 Digs: 29
2011 Hitting Percentage: .525
2011 Kill Percentage: .634

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Stanford

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 State Tournament MVP; 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Girls High School All-America nominee; Ranked No.2 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com

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POY Potential: Top Okla. volleyball recruits

October, 14, 2011
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five recruits as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

1. Bishop Kelley High (Tulsa, Okla.) middle blocker Oyinkan “Inky” Ajanaku
  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: No. 2
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Club: Club One
  • College: Stanford (verbal)
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "Ajanaku is a long, fluid athlete with a massive upside as a volleyball player. The 2010 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year after topping state champion Bishop Kelley in kills and solo blocks, Ajanaku is fast and agile, a big jumper who is willing and able to hit a variety of sets. And while she is totally capable of dominating both offensively and defensively, she remains a complete team player, admiring and respecting the efforts of her teammates and understanding they have an integral part in her success as a player. Very funny and entertaining, Ajanaku’s ability to keep the mood light does not diminish both her competitive spirit and willingness to do whatever is necessary to ensure her team's success. Headed to Stanford, Ajanaku is sure as many smiles as head turning plays.”

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