As former Bradley Central High School phenom Rhyne Howard continues to rack up Southeastern Conference player-of-the-week awards, the Chattanooga area continues to produce elite high school girls' basketball players.
East Hamilton's Madison Hayes and Hamilton Heights' Treasure Hunt and Kamilla Cardoso were selected as three of 25 nationwide candidates for the Naismith girls' player of the year, the highest prep honor in the sport.
The three also were notified Tuesday that they are McDonald's All-American Game nominees.
Hayes, who won the TSSAA's Class AAA Miss Basketball award in 2019, went into Tuesday's record-setting performance at home averaging 24.2 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3.3 assists and three steals per game for the Lady Hurricanes. She has signed with Mississippi State.
"I definitely want to become a McDonald's All-American," Hayes said after posting her school's first-ever triple-double with 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Tuesday's home victory over Walker Valley. "If I don't become one then I am going to keep grinding the way I have been grinding ever since I started playing. There is no stopping me."
Hamilton Heights is 15-1 and ranked second in the nation by MaxPreps.com. The Hawks play against a national schedule and have played three Top 25 teams this season.
Hunt, a Kentucky signee, averages 21.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.
Cardoso, a Syracuse signee, averages 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.2 blocks and 1.8 assists per game.
Hamilton Heights' nationally renowned basketball program had two boys' stars nominated for the McDonald's All-American Game: Florida signee Samson Ruzhenstev and Bayron Matos, a New Mexico commitment. Their team is a perfect 18-0 and ranked eighth in the nation.
The boys' Naismith list will be announced Thursday.
The girls' Naismith list will narrow to 10 semifinalists on Feb. 4 and to finalists on Feb. 18. The winner of the Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Trophy for girls' player of the year will be announced on March 10.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.