Start a conversation about the best all-time Clements High girls basketball players, and DaNeshia Malone has to be in the discussion.
In six seasons as a Clements starter, there’s not much Malone didn’t accomplish.
Malone has a state title ring. She helped lead the Colts to the 2009 Class 2A state championship.
The 6-foot-1 center’s name is also scattered throughout the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s record book.
Now Malone has an opportunity to add one more accolade to a sterling basketball resume: Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 3A player of the year.
Malone, along with three other area players, has been selected as a finalist for state player of the year honors.
Three area girls basketball players were selected as finalists: Brewer’s Riley Northway (5A), Clements’ Malone (3A) and R.A. Hubbard’s Alex Gholston (1A). Tanner guard Greg Maclin is a finalist for Class 2A boys player of the year.
The ASWA selects three player of the year finalists for each of the AHSAA’s six classifications and the Alabama Independent Schools Association. The state’s Mr. and Miss Basketball recipients will come from that pool.
“DaNeshia has accomplished a lot in her time here,” Clements coach Sonya Marks said. “Having her on the court made us a better team. Players like her don’t come around often. We’re definitely going to miss having her on the court.”
Malone’s career numbers speak for themselves.
According to the AHSAA record book, Malone is ninth in career scoring with 3,446 points. She holds the state record for career blocked shots with 771, and she is second in career rebounds with 2,000 — trailing former Tanner star Candace Byrd by 65.
“She had an impressive career,” Marks said. “And I know that wherever she decides to play, she’s going to do well there, too.”
None of the area’s player of the year finalists are short on accomplishments.
R.A. Hubbard’s Gholston is a two-time Class 1A player of the year, while Brewer’s Northway is a finalists for Class 5A player of the year for the second straight season.
Northway, who announced Tuesday that she has given a commitment to Lipscomb, averaged a double-double this season, scoring 19.6 points while averaging 12.1 rebounds.
Even though Northway has been invited to the ASWA banquet as a finalist before, the news still sparked excitement.
“That’s awesome,” Northway said. “I had a lot of fun down there last year, and I can’t wait to go back. Just getting invited is an honor.”
Tanner’s Maclin likely would have gotten an opportunity to play college basketball had he not picked football. In February, he signed with UAB’s football program as a safety.
Not many high school athletes in Alabama have enjoyed more success than Maclin. He has been part of two Class 2A basketball state titles (2011 and 2013), and the 6-foot-3 senior also has state championship rings from football (2012) and track (2012).
“Greg has represented our school well,” Tanner coach Chris Whitt said. “On our basketball team, he did a lot of things for us, and he did them all well. He was a great scorer, but he was an even better defender. From blocked shots to deflections, Greg led us in a lot of different categories. He’s going to be missed next season.”
Contact Justin Graves at 256-340-2460 or by email at email@example.com.
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