From South Carolina athletics:
South Carolina women's basketball signee Zia Cooke was named a national finalist for the Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Girls' Player of the Year Award, announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Tuesday.
Cooke is the No. 7 overall recruit in the 2019 class and the No. 2 point guard in the group, according to ESPN. She has a pair of international gold medals with USA Basketball in the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Cup and the 2017 U17 World Cup. Cooke has helped her Rogers High School team to wins in the first two rounds of the Ohio Girls' Basketball tournament and was named the Player of the Year in her district on Monday. Cooke will play in the third round of the state tournament on Thursday.
The Gamecocks boast one Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Girls' Player of the Year Award winner in program history after A'ja Wilson picked up the award in 2014. She then went on to win the 2018 Naismith Trophy as a senior at Carolina.
The Naismith Girls' All-America teams will be announced on March 11 before the Player of the Year is announced on March 15. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the top men's and women's college and high school basketball student-athletes and coaches.
South Carolina wraps up the regular season this week with one last road game on Feb. 28 when it takes on Auburn on SEC Network+. Carolina will complete the regular season at home on March 3 against #5/6 Mississippi State at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
2019 Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Girls' Player of the Year Finalists
Paige Buekers, Jr., G, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Zia Cooke, Sr., G, Toledo, Ohio
Azzi Fudd, So., G, Washington, D.C.
Jordan Horston, Sr., G, Columbus, Ohio
Haley Jones, Sr., W, Santa Cruz, Calif.