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.
Junior Guard, Hall High (Little Rock, AR)
2011-12 Team record: 23-5
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Cabot in state semifinals, 3/3
2011-12 Points per game: 25.2
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.9
2011-12 Assists per game: 5.2
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.7
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Three-time All-State; Ranked No. 10 Junior by ESPNHS; Scored 41 in 54-50 win over Texas power Southlake Carroll.
Senior Forward, North Little Rock High (North Little Rock, AR)
2011-12 Team record: 24-3
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Southside in state quarterfinals, 3/2; Ranked No. 23 in ESPNHS Fab 50
2011-12 Points per game: 18.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 10.3
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.1
2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.1
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: SMU
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 105-4 record as a varsity player; Three-time All-State.
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.
Jessica Jackson: Senior Forward, Jacksonville High (Jacksonville, AR)
Roshunda Johnson: Junior Guard, Parkview High (Little Rock, AR)
Mary Crow: Junior Guard, Bauxite High (Bauxite, AR)
Melissa Wolff: Senior Guard, Cabot High (Cabot, AR)
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.