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Athletes of the i e

Player of the Year: ANY OKONKWO, Etiwanda (HS)

Amy Okonkwo of Etiwanda High School has been named to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's All-Valley Girl's Basketball First Team. Okonkwo is also the player of the year. Thomas Cordova/Staff photographer (Thomas R. Cordova)

Amy Okonkwo of Etiwanda High School has been named to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin’s All-Valley Girl’s Basketball First Team. Okonkwo is also the player of the year. Thomas Cordova/Staff photographer (Thomas R. Cordova)

What coaches appreciate most in their players is the ablity to rise to the occasion. Etiwanda High School’s Amy Okonkwo did just that every time out.

The 6-foot-1 junior forward scored a season-high 28 points in the Eagles’ 73-72 win over Mater Dei,

then ranked No. 1 in the nation, in the CIF Southern Section semifinal. Included in that point tally was a 3-pointer in overtime that gave her team a 67-64 lead it never relinquished.

She also registered 19 against Corona Santiago in the CIF championship game and 18 against Long Beach Poly in a state playoff loss.

Okonkwo, 16, is the Inland Valley Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

“She rose to the occasion time and time again against the better teams,” Etiwanda coach Anders Anderson says. “She isn’t cocky or

overconfident but she has an air of confidence about her. The other girls know she is going to deliver.”

Okonkwo, who is being recruited by a bevy of Division I schools, many of those Pac 12, averaged 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds her first year with the Eagles (28-4) after transferring from Baseline League rival Los Osos along with junior

Cherce Harris.

Sometimes moving into a new environment can be difficult but that didn’t prove to be the case, with Okonkwo already having played with most of the Etiwanda players in travel ball or at Day Creek Middle School.

“I really wasn’t that nervous about it because I already knew the girls,” she said. “They accepted me right away and made it easy.”

Anderson says the player’s demeanor was a factor in the smooth transition.

“She didn’t come in here with an attitude or telling us what she had done,” Anderson said. “She just wanted to do her part and help us

win. She fit in from the very start.”

Okonkwo, who plans to major in kinesiology, is preparing for the next level. Anderson says she needs to work on conditioning. Competing in track this spring helps. She is looking for a third straight league title in shot put.

Okonkwo also want to work on her ball-handling skills.

“In college I might have to be a guard,” she said. “I can’t just count on being tall because at that level everyone is pretty big. I want to be able to do whatever they want me to do.”

By Michelle Gardner, Staff Writer

Posted:   04/17/2013 07:00:00 PM PDT

http://www.sbsun.com/preps/ci_23035547/2013-all-area-girls-basketball-team-etiwandas-amy

Jeff Pendergraph

Jeff Pendergraph #29 of the Indiana Pacers dunks the ball during the game between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jeff Pendergraph #29 of the Indiana Pacers dunks the ball during the game between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

An economics major at Arizona State, he arrived on campus early in the summer of 2005 to get a head start on classes and the life around Tempe…he plays the piano…he has a younger sister, Samantha, and a younger brother, Tim…he was a teammate of Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan’s son, Jamelle, in his final two seasons at Arizona State…he is a 2005 graduate of Etiwanda High School in Etiwanda, California, where he played alongside former Pacers’ teammate Darren Collison…he averaged 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for an Etiwanda squad that went 31-2 in his senior year and was ranked second in the nation…his team started the season 13-0…Etiwanda went 31-3 in his junior year, including 10-0 in the Baseline League, and reached the southern California regional final.

 

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/jeff_pendergraph/bio.html

Meet Dallas Mavericks Point Guard Darren Collison

darren collison

darren collison

Darren Collison was born August 23, 1987 to parents, June and Dennis Collison. He attended Etiwanda High School where he was McDonald’s All-American Top 40 candidate and the No. 2 point guard in the West. He was also an All-CIF Southern Section I-AA Player of the Year and a Los Angeles Times All-Star. Collison led Etiwanda (31-2) in points (20.7), three-pointers, steals (2.1), assists (4.0) and added 4.0 rebounds per game.

Collison attended UCLA, where he was considered one of the top point guards in the nation and led them to three consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances and became the UCLA record holder for games played during his career as a Bruin.

Collison was named third team All-American and selected to the All-Pac-10 Defensive Team during his collegiate career. He was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player of the Pac-10 Tournament and was the recipient of the 2009 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (an award given to the nation’s outstanding senior male collegian 6’0 and under who has excelled both athletically and academically). He also received his Bachelor of Science degree in History from UCLA.

Darren was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets as the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Collison handed out a rookie-record 18 assists for the Hornets in January 2010 and averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 assists per game on his way to NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.

In August 2010, Darren was traded to the Indiana Pacers and immediately took his place as the team’s starting point guard, averaging 13.2 ppg and 5.1 apg.

On July 12, 2012, Collison and Dahntay Jones were traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Ian Mahinmi. Collison became the Mavericks’ starting point guard, replacing Jason Kidd who left as a free agent

the off season, Darren is available for corporate appearances, motivational speaking engagements, VIP meet and greets, autograph signings, basketball camps and product endorsements.

http://www.darrencollison.com/