Girls Basketball Athlete of the Year
Pickens County High School, Jasper, Georgia
The 5-feet-11 Thomason led Pickens County to the Women's Final Four in
Georgia. She was the winner of the Naismith Award as the state's top
female athlete as a junior and senior. As a junior, she averaged 25.6
points and 10.7 rebounds per game, added 59 blocks and 66 steals, ans
shot 59.2 per cent from the field and 71.1 per cent from the free-throw
line. She was the subject of a cover story in Sports Illustrated for
Women magazine as a senior. She also maintained a 4.0 grade-point
average and graduated in the top 15 per cent of her class.
"Athletes like Alison Thomason are among the success stories produced
in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro
said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has
become one of the best athletes not only in the state of Georgia, but
the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."
Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
"Athletes like Shyra Ely are among the success stories produced in high
school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said.
"She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one
of the best basketball players not only in the state of Indiana, but the
entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." The 6-foot-2 Ely,
who will attend the University of Tennessee, was one of the nation's
most decorated players after scoring 2,004 points and pulling down 1,128
rebounds in her career, averaging 16.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per
game. She was named Indiana's Miss Basketball and was the winner of the
girls Naismith Award, was selected as the Gatorade High School Player of
the Year, and was named Player of the Year by USA Today.
Highlands Ranch High School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
"Athletes like Ann Strother are among the success stories produced in
high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said.
"She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one
of the best basketball players not only in the state of Colorado, but
the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."
Strother, who earned a scholarship to NCAA champion UConn, was selected
for every leading national award, including the Gatorade High School
Player of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Player of
the Year, and the James Naismith Award as the nation's top player. In
the inaugural McDonald's Women's All-American game, Strother scored 21
points and was named the game's co-Most Valuable Player. This year, she
will be a starter on the U.S. Junior National Team as it competes in the
World Championships, the only high scool player ever to do so.
In her high school career, Strother led Highlands Ranch to three
consecutive Class 5A state titles, averaging 17.8 points, 6.8 rebounds,
and 4.0 assists per game in her career. She also graduated with a 3.36
grade-point average and was a member of the National and Spanish Honor
Societies. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Strother's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.
Brookhaven High School. Columbus, Ohio
"Brittany Hunter's achievements in the classroom and on the basketball
floor define the term student-athlete," said NHSCA executive director
Bob Ferraro. "The NHSCA is proud to honor her with this award."
Hunter, a 6'3" center, was named Ohio's Miss Basketball after leading
Brookhaven to the state's Division I Final Four in a season where she
averaged 23.4 points and 17.6 rebounds a game. A 4.2-GPA student, Hunter
first made a name for herself after following up an outstanding junior
season with an appearance at the 2002 USA Basketball Women's Youth
Development Festival. On one of the largest stages for a prep girl's
basketball player Hunter shined as the best of 48 players in attendance.
After averaging over 11 points and eight rebounds, and shooting nearly
60-percent from the field, on just 18 minutes a game the recruiters were
beginning to stand in line. When Hunter followed up her efforts at the
Development Festival with an even stronger senior season at Brookhaven,
she found herself with choosing between the likes of Connecticut,
Tennessee, Duke, Texas and Harvard. In the end, the 4.2-GPA student
selected Duke University as the next step in a remarkable academic and
Naperville High School, Naperville, Illinois
Parker, a 6-3 center, has been thought by many to be the best player in
the nation for the past three years. She will become a Tennessee
Volunteer as a collegian, after finishing high school as a three-time
Illinois Miss Basketball with 2,758 career points. Parker overcame an
off-season knee injury to lead her squad to its second straight Class AA
state title, averaging 24.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.5
blocks per game.
Thunder Ridge High School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Also a Duke University recruit, the 5-foot-11 shooting guard was voted
the Gatorade National Player of the Year after leading ThunderRidge High
to a record third consecutive Class 5A state title, a 26-2 record and
the No. 8 ranking in the final USA Today Super 25. The four-year starter
averaged 32.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 5.7 steals per game
as a senior and scored 61 points - 30 in the first quarter - and added
17 steals in her final regular-season home game. Also an outstanding
student with a 3.95 GPA and a 27 on the ACT, she averaged 12 points and
3.8 assists for the gold-medal USA Junior World Team in 2004.
Christ the King High School, Queens, New York
Charles led Christ the King to a second consecutive unbeaten season,
the Royals going 30-0 and finishing No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25. The
6-foot-4 forward averaged 26.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 5.2 blocked
shots per game and was named Gatorade National Player of the Year,
Womens Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year, USA Today
Player of the Year, New York State's Miss Basketball and a McDonald's
All-American. Her 49 points against Brooklyn Bishop Ford Central
Catholic High this year is a school record, as are her 1,224 career
rebounds. She will attend the University of Connecticut.
Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, Georgia
Moore ended her career with Miss Georgia Basketball honors after
leading Collins Hill to a 125-3 record and three Class 5A state titles
in her four-year career. Her team won its final 53 games with her on the
court and ended this season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25. As a
senior, the 6-foot forward averaged 27 points, 12 rebounds, five
assists, five steals and two blocks and became only the third girls
player to capture the Naismith Award twice. She also was named the
Gatorade National Player of the Year, the WBCA Player of the Year and
the USA Today National Player of the Year, and averaged 10 points, six
rebounds and four steals to help lead the USA Basketball Women's
Under-18 National Team to the gold medal in the 2006 FIBA Americas
Championship. She will attend the University of Connecticut.
Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, Delaware
The 6-foot-5 DelleDonne is the third girl to become a three-time Player
of the Year selection by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters
Association after leading Ursuline Academy to its fourth state title in
her five years as a varsity player. Despite missing 10 games this season
due to mononucleosis, DelleDonne averaged 29 points and 11 rebounds in
leading the Raiders to a 19-6 record and the No. 17 spot in the USA
Today Super 25. As a sophomore, she set a national record by making 80
consecutive free throws, and her 2,818 career points are most by any
Delaware player of either gender. The State Farm/Women's Basketball
Coaches Association High School Player of the Year, DelleDonne is the
third consecutive University of Connecticut commitment to earn Senior
Athlete of the Year honors, joining Maya Moore of Suwanee, Ga. Collins
Hill High (2007) and Tina Charles of Middle Village, N.Y. Christ the
King High (2006) on the Huskies' roster next season.
Washington High School, South Bend, Indiana
The 5-foot-10 guard won the state's scoring title, averaging 29.0
points per game, and also averaged 6.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 5.4 steals
and 2.2 blocks to lead the Panthers to a 26-1 record and the Class 4A
state championship game, where they fell 71-69 to the nation's
top-ranked team, Indianapolis Ben Davis High. The Gatorade National
Player of the Year led Washington to the state title game all four years
of her high school career and the 2007 crown. She scored 2,790 points -
the third highest total in state history - averaged 25.9 points per
game in her career and led all scorers with 18 points in the McDonald's
All-America high school basketball game, adding five rebounds and three
steals. Diggins also started all five games for the U.S. Under-18 team
that won the FIBA Americas gold medal in 2008, averaging 10.8 points in
23.2 minutes per game. Also an outstanding student with a 3.91
grade-point average, she will attend the University of Notre Dame.
Cypress-Fairbanks High School, Cypress, Texas
The 6-foot-3 forward was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year
after leading the Bobcats to a 36-1 record, the 5A state title and a
No. 6 ranking from USA Today and a No. 7 ranking from ESPN RISE. Also
the USA Today Player of the Year and the No. 1 recruit according to
ESPNU and Blue Star Basketball, Ogwumike racked up 31 points and 18
rebounds in Cy-Fair’s 65-41 state championship game victory over Fort
Bend Hightower High. The Naismith National High School Girls Player of
the Year, Ogwumike played in the McDonald’s All-American Game (14
points, 6-of-8 shooting, three rebounds) and averaged 22.9 points, 13.9
rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.1 blocks per game this season after averaging
21.4 points and 12.6 rebounds as a junior. Also a standout volleyball
player, Ogwumike ranks No. 3 in her class academically and is a member
of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.
She will attend Stanford University, where her sister, Nneka, is a
Princess Anne High School, Virginia Beach, Virginia
6-foot-3 forward was named the girls Morgan Wootten Player of the Year
by McDonald’s, and she sparkled in the McDonald’s All-American Game. The
Duke University signee scored a game-record 23 points in just 19
minutes, shooting 10-of-18 from the field, and pulled down a game-high
11 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. She added two blocks as
she led the East squad to a 78-66 victory over the West, earning Most
Valuable Player honors. She also was named a Parade All-American and a First Team All-American by USA Today.
Williams concluded her high school career with a 19-point, 19-rebound,
nine-block title-game performance, and led Princess Anne to a 31-1
record, a 24-game winning streak to close the season and a second
consecutive Group 3A state title. That performance also earned her a
nomination for NHSCA Athlete of the Month honors. Williams averaged 18.9
points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.1 blocks as a senior, and in her career,
she scored 1,628 points and grabbed 1,205 rebounds.
She was a member of the USA Basketball Women’s Under-17 National Team
that won a world title last summer, averaging 13.5 points and 7.5
rebounds, while shooting 61.8 percent from the field.
Cicero-North Syracuse High School, Cicero, New York
The 6-foot-4 forward’s record-breaking performance helped the Northstars become the first New York State Public High Athletic Association titlist since 2001 to win the AA New York State Federation Tournament of Champions. Stewart had a triple double– 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 blocks – in the AA Public championship game, then racked up 22 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks as Cicero-North Syracuse (23-3), ranked No.10 in the final POWERADE FAB 50, routed reigning 14-timePublic Schools Athletic League champion New York Murry Bergtraum High, 60-28 in the championship game. She also had42 points and 22 rebounds in an 80-55 semifinal victory over Brooklyn Nazareth High, hitting 15 of 20 shots from the field.Her 64 points and 38 rebounds were both tournament records,and she averaged 26.4 points, 14.2 rebounds, 4.1 blocks, 3.2steals and 3.1 assists as a senior. The University of Connecticut signee was named the girls Morgan Wootten Player of the Year by McDonald’s, the Gatorade National Player of the Year, the All-USA Today Player of the Year and the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. Last summer, Stewart averaged team highs of 11.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while playing just19.9 minutes as the USA won the FIBA Under-19 world championship in Puerto Montt, Chile. She was the second youngest team member. She also was the only high school player to represent her country in the Pan-American Games last fall in Guadalajara,Mexico. She also played on two other gold medal-winning teams: the Under-16 national team (FIBA Americas, 2009) and the Under-17 national team (FIBA World Championships, 2010).
Ossining High School, Ossining, New York
Chong, who has accepted a scholarship to play college basketball at
national powerhouse UConn, had an incredible season leading her school
to its first-ever New York State Public Schools state championship
during the 2012-13 season. Chong set a New York State single-season
record with 928 points for an average of 34.4 points per game. Chong
also averaged 9.1 assists per game.
Mount Carmel HS, Mt. Carmel, Illinois
The only thing higher than Tyra Buss’ scoring average was her grade point average at Mt. Carmel. Buss, who maintained a 5.0 GPA on a scale of 5, became Illinois’ all-time leading scorer in girls’ high school basketball during her three-year career. She averaged 45.8 points per game as a senior while shooting 55.4% from the floor on her way to 4,897 career points, which is the second highest in the history of girls’ high school basketball in the United States. The 5-7 guard also averaged 6.7 steals per game as a senior with 5.5 rebounds per contest and 3.6 assists. Buss, who was Gatorade’s Illinois Player of the Year and a Parade All-American, will attend Indiana University. Buss is the second Illinois girls’ basketball player to be honored by the NHSCA. Current WNBA player Candace Parker (Naperville High School) of the LA Sparks was the 2004 honoree.
Katie Lou Samuelson
Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, California
Katie Lou Samuelson capped-off an incredible high school career with a season that her coach Kevin Kiernan called “the greatest offensive performance he has ever seen.” Samuelson, who will attend the University of Connecticut, averaged just under 30 points a game, which broke her own school season scoring average record. She also set new marks for most points in a game (42, against Palisades) and most 3-pointers made in a season (117).