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Prep female athlete of the year: Springville's Malia Nawahine

Published June 30, 2013 10:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Hard work does it all.

That's the message Malia Nawahine would pass along to the new class of players at her alma mater, Springville High. It's the time spent in the gym and preparing for every game that makes the difference for championship teams. It's the resolve to keep working and knowing that success will come that drove Nawahine. This attitude is also the key to her success at the next level.

Taking her game to the Pac-12 at the University of Utah, Nawahine is entering unfamiliar territory as the rookie on the team. The workouts are harder, the training more intense. She wakes at 6 a.m. every day to work out with the trainer to build strength and speed to play at the next level. Coming off the bench as a shooting guard, she hopes that her work ethic plus her rebounding and shooting will earn her a starting job into the season.

"Every single player on this team is a top athlete," Nawahine said. "The pace is a lot faster; you have to go a lot harder than at high school. I really like the challenges."

Nawahine is relentless on the boards with a unique ability to cut to the rim and can finish against bigger opponents, former coach Nancy Warner said. Warner expects big things from the 5-foot-10 guard because she is tenacious on the court.

"She's a great shooter and is getting better by working on different aspects of her game," Warner said. "By adding secondary moves with pull-up dribbles, she is developing her entire game."

Her prep résumé was impressive: Nawahine averaged 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game during her senior season.

She relied on a good balance between her inside and outside game to lead the Red Devils to the 4A state championship with a perfect 25-0 record.

Even though she was awarded the 2012-13 Gatorade Utah Girls' Basketball Player of the Year, Nawahine was quick to credit her teammates for all of her success.

"We won every game by playing as a team and trusting each other on the court," Nawahine said. "It was working with my friends and teammates that we were able to win that state championship." —

Honorable mentions

Grace Walton, Snow Canyon • Senior was the starting keeper for the state champion soccer team, a guard for the state semifinalist basketball team and the shortstop for the softball team that went undefeated during the regular season.

Megan Bean, Richfield • Senior led the Wildcats to state titles in volleyball and basketball.

Shea Martinez, Davis • Senior helped Darts win the cross-country and track state titles.