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Kerri Young first MHS girl to win Miss Basketball Award

Brooke Cersosimo/Republic Mitchell's Kerri Young dribbles the ball down the court as a Pierre player defends during the first round of the District 3AA girls' basketball tournament earlier this year at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Mitchell senior Kerri Young has been named this year's South Dakota Miss Basketball Award winner, it was announced at a banquet Sunday in Sioux Falls.

Young, who helped the Kernels to a runner-up finish at the state tournament in March, was selected as the winner in a field of 13 nominated players.

"It was good to be among all those good athletes who excel in many other sports and especially basketball," Young said. "To be picked among all those is pretty special."

Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said Young is the first Mitchell High School girls' basketball player to win the Miss Basketball Award, which is voted upon by the state's high school basketball coaches and is handed out at the annual Hansen-Anderson awards banquet.

"They went through all the nominations and handed out all the plaques for the nominees," Morgan said. "Then they announced Kerri Young was the Miss Basketball winner as the final name that they announced."

Young is the third Mitchell High School athlete to win the honor. She joins Bart Friedrick (1985) and Mike Miller (1998), who both won the Mr. Basketball Award.

The last girls' basketball from Mitchell to win the award was Jill Young, who graduated from Mitchell Christian and took the honor in 2007.

Morgan, Mitchell assistant coach Joe Shepardson and both of Young's parents, Bob and Laurie, were in attendance at the banquet.

Since the season ended, Young said she's been spending time in the gym and working out. The South Dakota State University commit is headed to college May 27 and will have individual workouts throughout the summer.

In her final year at high school, the 6-foot guard/forward averaged 16 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game, helping the Kernels to a 22-4 record. She was also named as the state's Gatorade Player of the Year in March and is a three-time first-team all-state selection.

Pierre's Zach Hanson, a senior, was named the Mr. Basketball Award winner this year. The Miss Basketball Award started in 1980, while the Mr. Basketball Award originated in 1978.

Young' jersey to be honored at women's basketball hall of fame

Morgan said he's been contacted by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Knoxville, Tenn., to have Young's jersey hung at the hall's ring of honor.

The coach said he received a letter in the mail and was happily surprised of Young's honor. Morgan said the letter read, "On behalf of women's basketball hall of fame, we want to borrow Kerri Young's jersey to display in the hall's ring of honor in recognition of her outstanding play for the 2012-13 season."

Young found out at an open gym earlier this year.

"I was shocked about that," she said. "That's a really special honor."

Morgan believed the hall received of Young's name when she received the state's Gatorade girls' basketball player of the year award in March.