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Naismith girls' hoop finalists announced

The Atlanta Tipoff Club released the finalists for the Naismith Girls' High School Player of the Year award Monday. Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) guard Linnae Harper was named one of five finalists for the award, which dates back to 1987. The 5-foot-6 junior is ranked No. 7 in the ESPNU HoopGurlz Super 60 for the 2013 class and is the only underclassman selected as a finalist.

The other finalists include three Connecticut signees -- Moriah Jefferson of Glenn Heights, Texas, a 5-7 point guard for T.H.E.S.A., a home-school program; Breanna Stewart of Syracuse, N.Y., a 6-3 forward from Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.); and Morgan Tuck of Bolingbrook, Ill., a 6-2 forward from Bolingbrook High School. The fifth finalist is Jewell Loyd of Skokie, Ill., a 5-9 senior guard for Niles West (Lincolnwood, Ill.) and a Notre Dame signee.

"Just as we've seen in the past, there are no runaway winners in any of the Naismith High School award categories this year -- each player has a compelling basketball resume that makes them a solid choice for the award, and we anticipate the voting to come right down to the wire," said Eric
Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "Whoever wins the award will join a prestigious list of Naismith Trophy alumni."

The winners will be recognized by the Atlanta Tipoff Club at its season-ending Naismith Awards Banquet March 22 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.