Player of the Year
LEAONNA ODOM, CHAMINADE
By TYLER DRAGON
The Chaminade girls basketball team was blessed with the best duo in the state this year and the pair led the Eagles to an Open Division state title. As a result, this award could have been split in
half and given to both Leaonna Odom and Valerie Higgins. Odom is the athletic wing with exceptional scoring ability, while Higgins possesses the all-around game and is a leader on the court.
The Duke-bound Odom was often called upon in crunch time and she almost always delivered. That's why she is the first-ever Prep2Prep Southern California Player of the Year.
Odom hit a game-winner to propel Chaminade to the California title game. In the state championship, Odom’s 33 points was an Open Division record. The output tied her with WNBA Seattle
Storm player and previous Connecticut All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei) for No. 8 all-time for most points scored in a state championship game.
“It’s a tribute to her. It’s her worth ethic and shooting every day. It’s a natural feel for her,” Chaminade head coach Kelli DiMuro said of Odom.
The McDonald’s All-American averaged 21.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in her senior season and with Higgins led Chaminade to a 31-4 record.
“Leaonna (Odom) is an unbelievable, dynamic player. She makes it so easy on me,” Higgins said. “I just have to beat the press and she’s there to finish and pad my assists.”
Egos were never apparent when Odom and Higgins shared the bulk of responsibilities for Chaminade. The two players were a great complement to each other all season.
“We had the same goals throughout the playoffs,” Odom said of the Eagles.
Odom’s performance on the biggest stage is what ultimately won her Prep2Prep’s player of the Year. Things will be interesting if and when the two go against one another in college
with Higgins heading up the street to USC.
Coach of the Year
KELLI DIMURO, CHAMINADE
Kelli Dimuro led Chaminade to a 31-4 season and California Open Division championship.
By TYLER DRAGON
This honor almost went to Long Beach Poly coach Carl Buggs if it wasn’t for Leaonna Odom’s game-winning heroics. Chaminade swept the Jackrabbits this season, earning
DiMuro the nod as the Prep2Prep Southern California Coach of the Year. Di Muro switched Valerie Higgins to point guard and let Higgins and Odom head a free-flowing offense.
DiMuro led the Lions to a California Open Division championship and had a 31-4 record this season.
Senior of the Year
VALERIE HIGGINS, CHAMINADE
While Leaonna Odom got much of the hype, Valerie Higgins was not too far behind – as mentioned above. The all-around player moved to point guard and averaged 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds for Chaminade.
She was awarded an invitation to The Jordan Brand Classic for her play on the court this year. Higgins will play at USC next season.
Junior of the Year
AYANNA CLARK, LONG BEACH POLY
Junior Ayanna Clark proved to be one of the best post players in the nation last season. She averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Jackrabbits. Clark and Jones will arguably be the top basketball
duo in California next year. The forward is committed to play for USC.
FIRST TEAM ALL-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Higgins worked together with Leaonna Odom to lead Chaminade to an Open Division state title, averaging 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. She will play basketball
next season at USC.
SECOND TEAM ALL-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Reili Richardson, Brea Olinda
Reili Richardson’s 26 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals led Brea Olinda to a 10th state championship. The 5-foot-9 guard was ranked by many publications as a top 50 player in the
country. Richardson will play at Arizona State next season.
THIRD TEAM ALL-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA