By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Haley Troup closed out her high school basketball career with a flourish on Tuesday (Apr. 4) in Montgomery.
The Gadsden City High School senior was named Class 7A Player of the Year at the Alabama Sports Writers Asssociation’s Mr./Miss Basketball awards banquet presented by Alfa Insurance. It was the second year in a row that Troup was a Player of the Year finalist.
In addition, Troup was named to the ASWA Super 5 team, which consists of the top five players in the state regardless of classification.
A 5’10 guard/forward, Troup helped the 2016-17 Lady Titans go 24-5, finish the regular season as the fifth-ranked team in Class 7A, win the area tournament and qualify for the Northeast Regional Tournament. She averaged 19.4 points, 4.0 assists and 7.6 rebounds in 28 games this past season while shooting 84 percent from the free throw line. She also made 38 three-point baskets.
A four-year starter for Gadsden City, Troup finished her high school career with 2,284 points, 1,235 rebounds and 842 assists. She was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s All-State girls basketball first team and was The Messenger’s girls Player of the Year for the past two seasons.
Joining Troup on the girls Super 5 team were Bianca Jackson of Brewbaker Tech, Unique Thompson of Faith Academy, Maori Davenport of Charles Henderson and Ajah Wayne of Homewood. Jackson was named Miss Basketball.
“I’m excited about today, that’s why I worked so hard to get back here,” said Troup. “I’ve played for two great coaches, [Southside] Coach [Kim] Nails and [GCHS] Coach [Jeremy] Brooks. “I’ve also played with several great players over the years. Playing with Brooke Burns helped. We’ve played together since the third grade.”
Troup, who signed a basketball scholarship with the University of South Carolina last fall, is excited to be joining the defending national champions after the Lady Gamecocks defeated Mississippi State in the NCAA Tournament championship game last week.
“I’m super exited to be going to South Carolina and play for Coach [Dawn] Staley,” said Troup. “She will make me the best I can be; that’s why I chose the Gamecocks.”
Also selected as ASWA Players of the Year were Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook (7A boys), Ajah Wayne of Homewood (6A girls), Alex Reese of Pelham (6A boys), Bianca Jackson of Brewbaker Tech (5A girls), John Petty of Mae Jemison (5A boys), Queen Ford of Sipsey Valley (4A girls), Herb Jones of Hale County (4A boys), Allie Craig Cruce, Lauderdale County (3A girls), Shy Cunningham of Midfield (3A boys), Kirstin Brown of Tanner (2A girls), Anquaevious Pollard of LaFayette (2A boys), River Baldwin of Pleasant Home (1A girls) and Diante Wood of Sacred Heart (1A boys). Petty was named Mr. Basketball.
The boys’ Super 5 team featured Petty, Watford, Reese, Jones and Wood.
“Haley is a well-rounded player who was fun to coach,” said Brooks. “She has talent and we asked her to do a lot. Having players the caliber of Brooke and Haley made games easier and made it easier for other players to take on more responsibilities.”