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One of the state's most dynamic talents has been recognized as the very best.
Springville senior forward Malia Nawahine was named the 2012-13 Gatorade Utah girls' basketball Player of the Year on Thursday.
Nawahine is the second Gatorade Utah girls' basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Springville High School, the other being former Red Devil star and current BYU Cougar, Lexi Eaton.
Nawahine, a 5-foot-10 senior guard/forward, led the Red Devils to a perfect 25-0 record and the Class 4A state championship this season. Nawahine averaged 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She has maintained a 3.60 GPA in the classroom and has volunteered locally on behalf of food banks, a homeless shelter, the Special Olympics and youth sports programs. She will continue her playing career in the Pac-12 Conference at the University of Utah this fall.
"Nawahine has a unique ability to completely take over a game through working extremely hard," said Camie Oakey, head coach at Mountain View High, in the release. "She's relentless on the boards, cuts hard to the rim and knows how to use her body to finish against bigger opponents."
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Nawahine as Utah's best high school girls' basketball player. Nawahine, now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award announced in March, joins an elite alumni association of past state girls basketball award-winners, including Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Diana Taurasi (1998-99 & 1999-00, Don Antonio Lugo HS, Calif.), Maya Moore (2005-06 Collins Hill HS, Ga.), Rashanda McCants (2004-05, Asheville HS, N.C.), Shyra Ely (1999-00, Ben Davis HS, Ind.) and Lisa Leslie (1988-89, Morningside HS, Calif.).
Nawahine joins recent Gatorade Utah girls' basketball Players of the Year Brittney Martin (2011-12, Syracuse High School), Lexi Eaton (2010-11, 2009-10, Springville High School), Haley Holmstead (2008-09, American Fork), Dani Peterson (2007-08, Skyline), and Tasha Dickey (2006–07, Brighton) among the state's list of former award winners.