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Hoover Senior Reniya Kelly Named ASWA 2023 Miss Basketball

2023 ASWA Miss Basketball Reniya Kelly of Hoover High School (center) is congratulated by Angie Lancaster, ALFA vice president of marketing, and Brandon Dean, AHSADCA Director


Photos by Marvin Gentry | AHSAA Photographer

MONTGOMERY – Hoover High School senior guard Reniya Kelly was selected Miss Basketball for 2023 by the Alabama Sportswriters Association (ASWA) Thursday at its annual Mr./Miss Basketball awards luncheon hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. Baker High School junior guard Labaron Philon of Baker High School in Mobile was selected 2023 Mr. Basketball. AHSAA corporate partner ALFA Insurance sponsors the awards program.

2023 ASWA Mr. and Miss Basketball Labaron Philon, Baker High School junior, and Reniya Kelly, Hoover High School senior

     The selection was made by the ASWA All-State Committee made up of ASWA member sportswriters across the state. Chairman is Florence Time Daily sports editor Stacy Long.
     The list of accomplishments for Kelly is impressive. She signed with the University of North Carolina to play basketball before breaking Hoover’s all-time scoring record with 2,272 career points over five seasons. She led the Lady Bucs (35-1) to its third straight Class 7A title in the 2022-23 season earning Class 7A tournament MVP in the process. The 5-foot-8 guard has been a part of four Hoover Class 7A state championship teams since cracking into the lineup as an eighth grader and has seen the Lady Bucs go 168-10 during her time on the squad of Coach Krystle Johnson – an amazing winning percentage of 94.4 percent. 
     She also led the Alabama All-Star team to victory and was named MVP of the 2023 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star basketball game last month. She was chosen as the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year in addition to being named to the MaxPreps All-America second team. She is listed by ESPN as the Class of 2023 No. 30 best player and No. 6 best point guard in the nation.
     “I’ve seen all the Hoover High school greats and Reniya Kelly is the best player to ever play at Hoover High School,” said Johnson, her coach for her entire high school career. Johnson, who played collegiately at UCLA and Alabama, was a standout on the 2001 Hoover state championship team. “What makes her special is she’s always looking to elevate her game. Once she masters one thing, she moves on to the next challenge.”
     Kelly, who was named the Class 7A Player of the Year for the second year in a row, averaged 15.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.4 steals a game this season, converting 194-of-432 field goals for 44.9 percent while making 80-of-171 from 3-point range for 46.8 percent. She set the Hoover program career record with 2,272 points – An average of 12.8 points per game in her 178-game career.
     “It’s really a blessing,” Kelly said. “I’ve dreamed of being Miss Basketball. I’m on Cloud 9 right now. This is really a big step, a big accomplishment in my high school career.”
     Kelly was a four-time All-State player and became the third Miss Basketball winner from Hoover. NO other school has more than two winners. Previous Hoover Miss Basketball selections were Sidney Spencer (2003) and Marqu’es Webb (2013).

Kelly heads the 2023 ASWA Super All-State team, comprised of the top five state players regardless of classification. It’s Kelly’s second straight season for that honor as well.
     “All the adversity, every time she has been overlooked, not selected or chosen for something she is more than deserving for, it all just drove her to get better,” Johnson said. “She has a bullet list of things to use as motivation and that’s why she will succeed at the next level. She has been a coach’s dream to coach these past five years. To watch her go from a 12-year-old sending us to the state championship game in 2019 to a 17-year-old leading us to an unprecedented third straight state championship has been a pleasure.”
     Other ASWA class players of the year for 2023 ARE: Leah Brooks, Hazel Green (Class 6A); Olivia Vandergriff, Guntersville (Class 5A) for the second year in a row; Chloe Seigel, Deshler (Class 4A); Jorda Crook, Ohatchee (Class 3A); seventh grader Belle Hill, Mars Hill Bible (Class 2A); sophomore Ace Austin, Spring Garden (Class 1A); and Grace Davis, Clarke Prep (AISA).


(top 5 players regardless of classification)

Reniya Kelly, Hoover; Leah Brooks, Hazel Green; Syriah Daniels, Auburn; Ace Austin, Spring Garden; and Jorda Crook, Ohatchee.

(Top 3 players per classification)
Reniya Kelly, Hoover (Player of the Year)
Syriah Daniels, Auburn
Jabriah Lindsey, Central-Phenix City
Leah Brooks, Hazel Green (Player of the Year)
Jazmyn Bigham, Theodore
Takya Norman, Carver-Montgomery 
Olivia Vandergriff, Guntersville (Player of the Year)
Julie Nekolna, Holtville
Tamya Smith, Pleasant Grove
Chloe Siegel, Deshler (Player of the Year)
Hannah Jones, Prattville Christian
Naomi Jones, Jackson
Jorda Crook, Ohatchee (Player of the Year)
Cali Smallwood, Susan Moore
Emma Kate Smith, Trinity Presbyterian
Belle Hill, Mars Hill Bible (Player of the Year)
Briley Merrill, Ranburne
Macey Roper, Pleasant Valley
Ace Austin, Sand Rock (Player of the Year)
Timya Thurman, Linden
A’Liric Whitfield, Elba
Gracie Davis, Clarke Prep (Player of the Year)
Lindsey Brown, Edgewood Academy
Takayla Davis, Glenwood School

2023: Reniya Kelly, Hoover
2022: Samiya Steele, Hazel Green
2021: Karoline Striplin, Geneva County

2020: Sarah Ashlee Barker, Spain Park
2019: Annie Hughes, Pisgah
2018: Zipporah Broughton, Lee-Montgomery
2017: Bianca Jackson, Brewbaker Tech
2016: Jasmine Walker, Jeff Davis
2015: Shaquera Wade, Huntsville
2014: Shakayla Thomas, Sylacauga
2013: Marqu’es Webb, Hoover
2012: Jasmine Jones, Bob Jones
2011: Hayden Hamby, West Morgan
2010: Kaneisha Horn, Ramsay

2009: Jala Harris, Bob Jones
2008: Courtney Jones, Midfield
2007: Katherine Graham, Ramsay
2006: Shanavia Dowdell, Calera
2005: Whitney Boddie, Florence
2004: Starr Orr, Speake
2003: Sidney Spencer, Hoover
2002: Kate Mastin, Boaz
2001: Donyel Wheeler, Huffman
2000: Natasha Thomas, Lawrence County

1999: Tasheika Morris, Huntsville-Butler
1998: Gwen Jackson, Eufaula
1997: April Nance, Huntsville-Butler
1996: Nicole Carruth, Sulligent
1995: Heather Mayes, Fyffe
1994: Pam Duncan, Carrollton
1993: Leah Monteith, Cherokee County
1992: Yolanda Watkins, Decatur
1991: Tonya Tice, Hamilton
1990: Karen Killen, Mars Hill Bible
1989: Leslie Claybrook, St. James
1988: Jeaniece Slater, Hartselle

Scores and stories from around Central Alabama. More than just a sports Article.

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