For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Basketball POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Napheesa Collier
School: Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis, Mo.)
Athletic achievement: She has led the Red Knights to a 28-0 record and a berth in the Class 4A state semifinals against Dexter (Mo.), scheduled for March 14. At the time of her selection, Collier was averaging 24.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.4 steals, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 assists per game. A two-time St. Louis Post-Dispatch Athlete of the Week, Collier has connected on 290-of-415 shots from the field (69.9 percent) and recorded 24 double-doubles in 28 games. A 2012 Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 5 First Team All-State selection as a freshman at Jefferson City (Mo.), she has scored 1,149 points in her prep basketball career.
Academic excellence: Collier has maintained a B-plus average.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of Santa’s Helpers and the Salvation Army.
“Napheesa’s ability to take over a game and cause so many match-up concerns for other teams is significant,” said Mike Slater, head coach of Nerinx Hall (Webster Groves, Mo.). “Her physical gifts that allow her to impact the game on both ends of the floor are amazing.”
THE FUTURE: Collier will be a junior next year.