Lifting the Class 4A state championship trophy could have been the exclamation point to Malia Nawahine's basketball career, but there's so much more to be written.
The 2012-13 Gatorade Utah girls' basketball Player of the Year is joining the Pac-12 Conference at the University of Utah and is bringing her tenacious rebounding and shooting with her. Nawahine averaged 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game to help the Red Devils finish the season 25-0.
She did it while maintaining a 3.60 grade-point average and a busy volunteer schedule.
"Our season was more than going undefeated," Nawahine said. "We never gave up on each other. We never let down. We did this because we really consider each other best friends."
A band of sisters supporting each other was the difference for Nawahine. The closeness and trust they had for each other paid off every time they took the court.
"We play so well with each other because of that trust," Nawahine said. "You can do great things when you trust your teammates."
Springville coach Nancy Warner knew that Nawahine could take over the game at any time. Warner saw Nawahine put the team on her back with her leadership, work effort and example many times during the season.
"She's one of those players that give 100 percent all of the time," Warner said. "I'm excited to see her take her game to the next level."
The next level is at the University of Utah, where Nawahine will study mathematics and graphic design. For someone who balances time between basketball, the classroom and volunteering at the Special Olympics and homeless shelters, Nawahine is prepared for the challenges found in the next chapter of her life.
"I'm appreciative of this opportunity and grateful to have so much success and fun at Springville," Nawahine said. "I loved this team and would love to get to play one more game with them."