High School Sports

Weddington’s Stephanie Watts named NC girls’ basketball player of the year award

Stephanie Watts led Weddington to a 29-2 record this season and an appearance last week in the N.C. 3A Western Regional championship game in Winston-Salem.
Stephanie Watts led Weddington to a 29-2 record this season and an appearance last week in the N.C. 3A Western Regional championship game in Winston-Salem. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Weddington High’s Stephanie Watts is the 2015 N.C. Gatorade girls’ high school basketball player of the year, it was announced Thursday.

Watts, a 5-foot-10 guard who has signed with North Carolina, is a finalist for national player of the year. She’s also been named a McDonald’s All-American and will play in the Jordan Brand Classic.

This season, Watts led Weddington to a 29-2 record and an appearance last week in the N.C. 3A Western Regional championship game in Winston-Salem. She averaged 29.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 4.7 steals and 2.4 blocked shots.

Watts shot 45.6 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from 3-point range and 75.3 percent from the free-throw line this season. Twice in her career she was first-team all-state, and her 156 3-pointers in 2014-15 set a single-season state record. Last summer, she was invited to the USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials.

Watts, who has maintained a 3.63 GPA, has donated her time locally as a youth basketball instructor at camps and on behalf of Carolina Courts, a year-round basketball and volleyball training facility.

“I’ve never felt as helpless as a coach as when we play against her, because she is simply that much better of an athlete than everyone else on the floor,” said Joel Allen, coach of rival Cuthbertson.

“She’s the most dominant high school player of any sport of any gender that I have ever seen with my own two eyes, and I’ve seen a lot of talented players up close in our area over the last decade in football, basketball, baseball and softball.”

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