The 2011-12 Gatorade State Girls Basketball Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for.
Name: Alexis Jones
School: MacArthur (Irving, Texas)
Position: Point guard
Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Led Warriors (35-2) to the 2011 Class 5A state championship. No. 3 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS HoopGurlz. 2010-11 Class 5A state tournament Most Valuable Player. 2009-10 ESPNHS Underclass All-American. Three-time First Team All-State selection as named by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Member of the 2011 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team, 2010 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team and 2009 USA Basketball Women's U16 National Team Trials Roster.
Academics: B-plus average
College: Duke University (verbal)
Extracurricular activities: In addition to donating her time locally at a food bank, the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of America, she has volunteered as part of a youth literacy-outreach campaign and a charitable holiday gift-giving initiative.
Sue Cannon, head coach of rival Trinity (Euless, Texas): “I’ve been doing this for 39 years, and Alexis Jones and Tamika Catchings are the two top players we’ve ever faced. She’s a complete player, and she’s so unselfish—that’s the thing I love about her. She looks to pass. She’s an exceptional scorer, penetrator and 3-point shooter, but the sign of a great player is when you make everyone around you better. She’s made her team so much better by playing unselfishly and within the team concept. I’ve never seen such a complete player as a junior in high school. The thought of having to go against her twice next year is pretty unsettling.”
Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls basketball underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11.
Jordan Jones: Senior point guard, DeSoto (Texas)
Nicole Kornet: Senior guard, Liberty Christian School (Argyle, Texas)
Brianna Turner: Sophomore forward, Manvel (Texas)
Courtney Williams: Senior guard/forward, North Shore (Houston, Texas)
A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the program’s behalf. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders 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 ESPNU recruit rankings.
To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.