Mercedes Russell's transformation into the nation's prep basketball player of the year took a turn between her freshman and sophomore years, when she grew five inches and moved from guard to the post.
The 6-foot-5 Springfield High School star who is headed to Tennessee in the fall says the shift made her a better player.
Others apparently thought she was good, too, because on Wednesday she was named the Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the first girl from Oregon to earn the honor.
Russell joins the likes of Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and current Stanford star Chiney Ogwumike in receiving the award. Kevin Love, who played at Oregon's Lake Oswego High School, was honored with it on the boy's side in 2007.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.