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.
Sophomore post/point guard, Natrona County (Casper, Wyo.)
2011-12 Team record: 21-0 (Class 4A)
2011-12 Team standing: Class 4A regional tournament begins on Thursday
2011-12 Points per game: 19.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 11.5
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.6
2011-12 Blocks per game: 6.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.8
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Sophomore
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Led Natrona County to undefeated regular seaon and the top ranking in the state; Helped defeat defending Class 4A state champion Campbell County twice, including a 22-point, 10-block, nine-rebound effort on Dec. 12, 2011.
Junior guard/forward, Lander Valley (Lander, Wyo.)
2011-12 Team record: 15-8 (Class 3A)
2011-12 Team standing: Class 3A West regional tournament begins on Thursday
2011-12 Points per game: 18.1
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 10.1
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.9
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 5.6
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Class 3A First Team All-Conference; leads class 3A in steals and assists in 2012.
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.
Mikayla Brower: Senior guard, Torrington (Wyo.)
Carlie Edelman: Junior center, Douglas (Wyo.)
Kassidy Scott: Junior guard/forward, Douglas (Wyo.)
McKenzie Hellbaum: Senior guard, Wheatland (Wyo.)
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.