ATLANTA (Feb. 25, 2013) - Curtis Ekmark of St. Mary's High School (Phoenix, Ariz.), is the 2013 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National High School Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today.
Ekmark guided St. Mary's to a 29-1 overall record, a 14-0 mark in Desert Valley Region action and its third Arizona Interscholastic Association state championship. The Knights are ranked third in the USA Today High School Sports Super 25 Poll. St. Mary's averaged 65.4 points per game, while holding their opponents to a 31.9 average.
During his six years as head coach of St. Mary's, Ekmark has tallied a 154-21 record, including a perfect 30-0 season during the 2011-12 academic year, in which the Knights won the 5A-1 state championship. St. Mary's earned its fifth state championship the previous season, as the Knights finished 28-2 on the year.
"Curtis is a well-deserving recipient of the RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National High School Coach of the Year award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "The WBCA takes great pleasure in recognizing those who commit themselves to the development of the future of women's basketball. Curtis has done an exceptional job of getting his team to push itself above and beyond expectations."
RUSSELL ATHLETIC and the WBCA present the national coach of the year award annually in each of the five WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; junior/community college and high school). This is the 24th year since 1990 that the WBCA has presented this honor to a high school head coach. For a list of past recipients, visit WBCA.org.
"We would like to congratulate Curtis for receiving the Russell ATHLETIC/WBCA High School Coach-of-the-Year Award," said Senior Vice President of Russell Athletic, Gary Barfield. "Curtis embodies the team concept we model our business after, and we are pleased to honor Curtis for a fantastic season."
Joining Ekmark, the District 7 honoree, as recipients of 2013 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA District Coach of the Year awards are Gina Maher, Irvington High School, Irvington, N.Y. (District 2); Scott Allen, Paul VI High School, Fairfax, Va. (District 3); William Winfield, Martin L. King High School, Detroit, Mich. (District 4); Scott DeJong, Ankeny High School, Ankeny, Iowa (District 5); Kit Martin, Mansfield Timberview, Arlington, Texas (District 6); Vanessa Nygaard, Windward High School, Los Angeles, Calif. (District 8); and Paula Jones, Coweta High School, Sharpsburg, Ga.
The four leading vote getters in the national coach of the year balloting are invited to coach in the WBCA High School All-America Game presented by NIKE, which showcases the nation's 20 best senior players. The game, which will be played at 4:30 p.m. CT Saturday, April 6, in the New Orleans Arena, is part of the 2013 WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®. Admission to the game is free.
Ekmark, along with State Farm®/WBCA High School Player of the Year Diamond DeShields of Norcross (Ga.) High School, will be formally recognized during the game.
Ekmark will coach the Purple team and will be assisted by Winfield. DeJong will serve as head coach of the Black team and will be assisted by Maher.
In related news, the WBCA also announced the team rosters for this year's WBCA High School All-America Game presented by NIKE. Rosters for the game are not geographic, but are balanced according to talent and skill of the WBCA High School All-Americans to better ensure a competitive game.
|1||Jessica Washington||PG||5-8||Jenks High School||North Carolina|
|2||Lindsay Allen||PG||5-8||St. John’s College High School||Notre Dame|
|12||Saniya Chong||G||5-9||Ossining High School||Connecticut|
|15||Jessica Jackson||F||6-3||Jacksonville High School||Undeclared|
|21||Taya Reimer||F||6-2||Hamilton Southeastern High School||Notre Dame|
|22||Diamond DeShields||G||6-2||Norcross High School||North Carolina|
|23||Stephanie Mavunga||F||6-2||Brownsburg High School||North Carolina|
|24||Erica McCall||F||6-2||Ridgeview High School||Stanford|
|33||Nia Coffey||F||6-1||Hopkins High School||Northwestern|
|44||Karlie Samuelson||G||5-11||Mater Dei High School||Stanford|
|1||Tyler Scaife||PG||5-8||Hall High School||Rutgers|
|3||Kaela Davis||G||6-2||Buford High School||Georgia Tech|
|4||Alexis Brown||G||5-8||North Gwinnett High School||Maryland|
|5||Kendall Cooper||C||6-3||St. Anthony High School||Duke|
|10||Kelsey Plum||PG||5-9||La Jolla Country Day High School||Washington|
|15||Linnae Harper||G||5-6||Whitney Young High School||Kentucky|
|21||Mercedes Russell||F||6-5||Springfield High School||Tennessee|
|30||Ronni Williams||F||6-2||Atlantic High School||Florida|
|32||Rebecca Greenwell||F||6-2||Owensboro Catholic High School||Duke|
|41||Oderah Chidom||F||6-3||Bishop O’Dowd High School||Duke|
The honorary co-captain of this year's Purple Team will be Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever. Swin Cash of the Chicago Sky will be the honorary co-captain of the Black Team.
About RUSSELL ATHLETIC:
For more than 100 years, Russell Brands, LLC, has supplied America's athletes and teams with the latest innovations to help them perform at their best and is a leading supplier of apparel and team uniforms at the high school, college and professional levels. Russell's collegiate licensed products and athletic wear are broadly distributed and marketed through department stores, sports specialty stores, retail chains and college bookstores. For more information, please visit www.RussellAthletic.com, facebook.com/russellathletic, Twitter.com/RussellAthletic.
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.