NCS Senior of the Year
HALEY VAN DYKE, CAMPOLINDO
Campolindo did not have a banner year in 2017-18 as it did in 2016-17, when the Cougars made it all the way to the State Finals after falling just short of a NCS title. But that was at no fault of Washington-bound, 6’0” Haley Van Dyke, our NCS Senior of the Year.
Through Campolindo’s NCS bid (which ended with a loss to Salesian in the D3 semifinals), a total of 24 games, Van Dyke had monster numbers: 29.8 points, 17.7 rebounds, 4.8 steals, 3.8 assists, and 3.5 blocks per game. Her reign of terror included a 60-point effort against Moreau Catholic in the NCS quarterfinals, a 56-point entry against Brookside Christian in January, and 10 more games of 30 or more points.
She earned the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division MVP for the second straight year, and she carried more on her shoulders than she could have anticipated a year ago. That’s because two players left the team before the season even started (including a key figure from the starting lineup), and then second-leading scorer Ashley Thoms went out with a season-ending injury in early January.
“We continued to ask her to do more and of course she responded,” Campolindo coach Art Thoms said. “She had some really amazing games scoring, which sometimes overshadows her defense and rebounding. She played every position from point guard to center and is one of the most complete players I have ever seen.”
Van Dyke did everything she could to keep her team afloat, giving solid effort after solid effort. She had a double-double in all but one of those 24 games, and a triple-double in three of them. She was the primary reason the Cougars rolled through every DAL-Foothill opponent not named Miramonte and still earned a four seed in the NCS playoffs and a nine seed in the CIF playoffs.
The daughter of two athletes, Van Dyke finished as Campolindo’s career leader in points and rebounds. During her tenure in Moraga, the Cougars picked up 85 wins and that NorCal Championship plaque.
“I definitely wasn’t thinking about college basketball when I started in the eighth grade,” Van Dyke told the Chronicle’s Mitch Stephens last March. “It’s just kind of weird.”
While Van Dyke cleaned up the glass and netted many baskets by out-jumping her opponents in the paint, she was by no means a one-trick pony. She netted 21 three-pointers (five more than she did in 31 games last season), could pull up for a mid-range jumper or drive to the hoop with dexterity, and made nearly eight trips to the free throw line per game. And her assists average this season was in line with her career average despite having a weaker supporting cast.
For all of these reasons, combined with her leadership, consistency, and all-around athletic skill, Van Dyke is aptly named NCS Senior of the Year.
Other players considered for this award include Dublin’s Lesila Finau, Bishop O’Dowd’s Zakiya Mahoney, Newark Memorial’s Haylee Nelson, and Miramonte’s Clair Steele.
NOTE: We would like to thank our media partners, coaches, parents, players and fans for contributing photos for our all-section features.
We salute all of the players that have made this a wonderful season of NCS basketball.