ATLANTA -- Norcross High School (Norcross, Ga.) guard Diamond DeShields is the 2013 Naismith Girl's High School Player of the Year and Marion County High School (Lebanon, Ky.) coach Trent Milby is the 2013 Naismith Girl's High School Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Playing for a 25-5 Norcross High School team still competing in the Georgia AAAAA state playoffs, DeShields earned the national Player of the Year honor over post player and University of Tennessee commitment Mercedes Russell and Owensboro, Ky. competitor and Duke signee Rebecca Greenwell. DeShields also earned the Atlanta Tipoff Club Miss Georgia Basketball honor for 2013.
"I want to thank the Atlanta Tip-Off Club for this a prestigious honor. I am very grateful and humbled to be in the company of such a tremendous list of past recipients, players I have admired," said Diamond DeShields. "Awards such as this one mean so much, and it's the people who know my story that can truly appreciate this awards significance to me. It is their knowledge of all the hours of hard work, hardships and dedication and for their support, I truly thank my family, coaches, teammates and fans for always believing in me. I want to especially thank God, without Him none of this would have been possible."
"For the national votes to select Diamond as the Naismith Trophy winner validates what we've seen her do night in and night out over the last four years right here in Atlanta," said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "She is a special player and very deserving of this honor."
Milby's Marion County High School Lady Knights recently finished a perfect 30-0 regular season and have advanced as district champs with two more wins in the Kentucky Girl's Basketball State playoffs.
"Trent's strong leadership and excellent coaching skills were evident this season and we're thrilled to recognize him for such an amazing accomplishment," Oberman added.
The winners were selected by basketball journalists from around the country who form the Naismith Awards national high school voting academy. The selections were based on outstanding performances during the 2013 high school basketball season. DeShields and Milby will be recognized at the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Naismith Awards Banquet on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Atlanta.
The Naismith Girl's High School Player of the Year award was first given in 1987 to Lynn Lorenzen (Ventura High School, Ventura, Iowa), and has since been awarded to such notable players as Lisa Leslie (1990, Morningside High School, Inglewood, Calif.), Chamique Holdsclaw (1995, Christ the King, Middle Village, N.Y.), Candace Parker (2003, Naperville Central, Naperville, Ill.) and Maya Moore (2006 & 2007, Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, Ga.). Last year's winner was Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse High, Syracuse, N.Y.) who is now playing basketball at Connecticut.
The Naismith Girl's High School Coach of the Year Award has been presented since 2008. Last year's winner was Curtis Ekmark, of St. Mary's Catholic High School in Phoenix, Ariz.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.