- Glenn Nelson, ESPNHS HoopGurlz
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Nneka Ogwumike, whose high school this season won every game in which she played, including the Texas 5A state championship, has been named the 2007-08 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The Gatorade award recognizes academic achievement and character on and off the court, in addition to athletic achievement.
Ranked by HoopGurlz.com as the No. 6 prospect in the 2008 class, Ogwumike now is a finalist for the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony before The ESPY Awards in July.
Previously this year, Elena Delle Donne of Wilmington, Del., has been named winner of the Naismith and Wooten awards, as well as the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) national player of the year, sponsored by State Farm.
The state's returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Ogwumike led the Bobcats to a 39-2 record and their first-ever Class 5A state championship. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 steals per game during the regular season; 21.4 points and 13.3 rebounds a game during the postseason and had 17 points and 17 rebounds while being named MVP of the championship win over DeSoto.
Cy-Fair's only two losses were its first two games with Ogwumike and her younger sister Chiney competing for the high school at the state championships for volleyball.
Named Miss Texas Basketball as a junior in 2007, Ogwumike, 17, was selected for both the McDonald's All-American and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America games. She was also a top performer at last summer's USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, leading the medal-play event in points and steals, and finishing second in rebounds.
Signed to play with Stanford next year, Ogwumike has maintained a 3.86 GPA in the classroom. A passionate artist and pianist, Ogwumike is the Senior Class President as well as her school's 2007 Homecoming Queen and has fundraised to assist children of the Darfur crisis. She also organized a charity drive for the family of a Texas high school coach who lost a battle with leukemia. Ogwumike, whose parents Peter and Ify are natives of Nigeria, volunteers at Hamilton Middle School as an office aide and remains an active member of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church.
All-Time Gatorade Players of the Year
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Cy-Fair senior Nneka Ogwumike has won the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.