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.
Senior point guard, MacArthur
2011-12 Team record: 35-3
2011-12 Team standing: Lost Class 5A regional final to Duncanville (Dallas, Texas), 62-55 in overtime; No. 18 ranked team on ESPNHS FAB 50
2011-12 Points per game: 24.2
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 7.6
2011-12 Assists per game: 6.4
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 4.7
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Duke University
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 32.6 points in five Class 5A state tournament games. Her 24.2 points and 6.4 assists produced 55.5 percent of MacArthur’s 66.7 points per game. 2010-11 Gatorade Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year. No. 3 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. 2012 McDonald’s All-American. 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-America Game selection. Member of USA Basketball’s 2010 Women’s U18 National Team & 2011 Women’s U19 World Championship Team. 2010 and 2011 ESPNHS All-American. 2011 Class 5A state tournament Most Valuable Player. 2011 Class 5A state champion. 2009, 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State selection as named by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
Senior point guard, Texas Home Educators Sports Association (North Richland Hills, Texas)
2011-12 Team record: 41-6 (National Christian Homeschool Championships)
2011-12 Team standing: National Christian Homeschool Championships begin on March 19
2011-12 Points per game: 17.3
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 3.8
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 5.1
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Connecticut
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Shooting 56 percent from the field, 47 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the free throw line. Led her DFW Elite AAU squad to the Nike Nationals Gold Bracket championship, capturing Most Valuable Player honors. No. 2 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. 2012 McDonald’s All-American. 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-America Game selection. 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team finalist. 2010 and 2011 National Christian Homeschool Player of the Year. Three-time National Christian Homeschool champion.
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.
Jordan Jones: Senior point guard, DeSoto (Texas)
Brianna Turner: Sophomore forward, Manvel (Texas)
Courtney Williams: Senior guard/forward, North Shore (Houston, Texas)
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.