2 Incoming Hawkeyes Earn Player of the Year Honors

March 13, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two incoming University of Iowa women’s basketball recruits — Chase Coley and Whitney Jennings — have earned the top high school honor in their respective states. Coley, a native of Minneapolis, has been named the 2013-14 Gatorade Minnesota Girls Basketball Player of the Year, and Jennings, a native of Logansport, Ind., has been named the 2013-14 Gatorade Indiana Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Both will join the Iowa program in the fall.

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 both as the best high school girls basketball player in their state.

“I am very happy that two of our incoming recruits were recognized by Gatorade as the Player of the Year in their state,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “To be named the player of the state in two basketball-rich states such as Indiana and Minnesota is especially rewarding for these two deserving players.”

Coley, a 6-foot-4 senior center from Washburn High School, has led the Millers to a 23-6 record and a berth in the Class AAA sectional finals, scheduled for March 13. A 2014 Minnesota Miss Basketball nominee, Coley averaged 24.4 points, 18.4 rebounds, 9.4 blocks, 6.2 assists and 5.7 steals through 29 games. A roster invitee at April’s inaugural SchollyMe All World Game in California, Coley owns Minnesota prep records for blocks in a game, season and career. She also ranks among the top three in state history for single-season and career rebounds.

Coley has maintained a 3.19 GPA in the classroom. Also a volleyball, lacrosse and track standout, she has volunteered as a youth basketball instructor.

Jennings, a 5-foot-5 senior guard from Logansport High School, averaged 32 points, eight rebounds, 7.4 assists and 5.1 steals his past season, leading the Berries (24-3) to the Class 4A state semifinals. A 2013 Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports First Team All-State selection, Jennings recorded three triple-doubles and was a 2014 McDonald’s All-American selection committee nominee. She concluded her prep basketball career with 2,641 points, fifth on the state’s career scoring list.

Jennings has maintained a 3.99 GPA in the classroom. A long-time member of the 4-H Youth Development Organization, she has volunteered locally as a peer tutor, library student assistant and youth basketball coach.

Iowa freshman Ally Disterhoft (Iowa) and junior Samantha Logic (Wisconsin) also earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors.