From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior point guard, St. Pius X Catholic (Atlanta, Ga.)
Greatness Present: The two-time defending Class AAA state champions, St. Pius entered last week’s game against Region 6 rival Marist riding a 66-game winning streak against regional opponents. Yet, the War Eagles claimed a 21-17 halftime lead and appeared poised to snap the Golden Lions’ remarkable string of victories.
Only, Asia Durr happened.
The nation’s top-ranked senior point guard netted all 18 of her team’s second-half points, outscoring the entire Marist roster by six points after the break to claim a 35-33 victory and keep the streak alive.
On the season, Durr has averaged 30.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, leading St. Pius to a 15-1 start—their lone loss coming by 10 points against Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O’Hara. The Golden Lions have not lost to a Georgia opponent in more than a year.
Since cruising to back-to-back Class AAA titles, St. Pius moved up to AAAA this season. Not to worry, though, as Durr collected 49 points in a 71-64 win over defending AAAA state champion Redan last month.
The 5-foot-10 Durr’s current career total of 2,296 points is a new school record, surpassing current Washington Mystics center Kelley Cain, and there are still plenty of chances left to improve that mark.
Still, Durr and the Golden Lions have their work cut out for them the rest of the way, as rematches with Redan and Marist loom in the final two games of the regular season before their search for a third straight state title begins in earnest next month’s Class AAAA playoffs.
Greatness Past: Durr led St. Pius to a 30-3 record and second consecutive Class AAA state championship as a junior last season, capturing 2013-14 Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors. Also the state’s 2014 Miss Basketball selection as named by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, she averaged 24.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.7 assists per game in 2013-14. She tallied 23 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the 48-45, title-clinching win over Buford, capturing Class AAA state title game Most Valuable Player honors for a second straight season.
A prominent figure in USA Basketball’s success over the past two years, Durr captured MVP honors during in a gold medal-winning performance at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championships and led the U.S. effort in capturing gold at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships this past summer.
Greatness Future: Dubbed “the missing piece” to Louisville’s NCAA national championship hopes, Durr has signed with the Cardinals.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of each list. Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.