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Gatorade Utah Girls Basketball Player of the Year to follow in mother’s footsteps with Utes

Gatorade Utah Girls Basketball Player of the Year to follow in mother’s footsteps with Utes
Gatorade Utah Player of the Year Kennady McQueen will follow in the footsteps of her mother, Melanee, at the University of Utah in what the North Summit star called “a dream come true.” (Courtesy: @KennadyMcqueen/Twitter)

COALVILLE, Utah (BVM) – Kennady McQueen has accomplished just about everything a high school basketball player could imagine.

The North Summit High School graduate is ranked No. 60 overall and No. 18 at her position in ESPN’s recruiting rankings. The three-time All-State selection earned Region 16 MVP honors in 2019 and led the Braves to a 24-2 record and the Class 2A state championship.

Perhaps McQueen’s – who averaged 20.6 points, 4.9 assists and 4.5 steals per game during her senior campaign – greatest honor came in March when she was announced as the 2019-20 Gatorade Utah Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes McQueen as Utah’s best high school girls basketball player, according to a Gatorade press release. McQueen is the first Gatorade Utah Girls Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from North Summit High School.

Also an all-state volleyball standout who led the Braves to three state championships, McQueen has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. The combination of elite talent and book smarts has led McQueen to continue her athletic and academic pursuits at the University of Utah this fall.

“We’ve been watching Kennady ever since we got to Utah and I have been so impressed with how she has developed into one of the best players in the country,” said Utah head women’s basketball coach Lynne Roberts when the Utes announced their 2020 signing class. “She is the type of player you don’t want to play against.”

From the outside looking in, McQueen’s signing to the Utes might just appear to be a top-tier athlete deciding to stay home at their in-state university. But for those who know the McQueen family or their Utah women’s basketball history, this commitment is more than what meets the eye.

McQueen’s mother, Melanee, starred for Utah basketball from 1988-91, earning all-conference recognition twice. Kennady plans to wear her mother’s number, 24, when she suits up for the Utes in the fall.

The commitment to Utah was just as much about joining the 20th-ranked recruiting class at the time — its highest recruiting ranking in program history — as it was about becoming the second McQueen to get buckets in Salt Lake City.

“I chose Utah because of its true family environment. I immediately felt at home thanks to the coaches and my teammates,” Kennady told University of Utah Athletics. “Following in my mom’s footsteps is a dream come true.”

McQueen joins Peyton McFarland of Boise, Idaho (ESPN No. 80) and Donna Ntambue of Montreal, Quebec (Crown Scout Girls Rankings No. 13) as Utah’s Class of 2020 signees who Roberts said, “is a highly recruited and pursued group that we anticipate to contribute immediately.”

The Utes finished the 2019-20 season 14-17 overall and eighth in the Pac-12, but the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year will certainly be counted on to contribute to a turnaround.

“She is competitive, athletic and can shoot like crazy,” Roberts said. “She embodies what we want to recruit – toughness and competitiveness – and she has the talent.”

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