Parkway basketball's Mikaylah Williams only junior among Naismith Player of Year finalists

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times

Parkway guard Mikaylah Williams is a finalist for Jersey Mike’s Naismith National High School Girls Player of the Year. 

The top-ranked 2023 girls recruit in the country, Williams is the only junior among the five finalists. The 6-1 junior is averaging 22.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game for coach Gloria Williams. She also shoots 52.8% from the field and will lead the Lady Panthers into the LHSAA Class 5A playoffs Thursday night.

Additional finalists include Lauren Betts of Aurora, Colorado, a Stanford commit; Chance Gray of Cincinnati, Ohio, an Oregon commit; Ayanna Patterson of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a UConn commit; and Kiki Rice of Washington, DC, a UCLA commit.

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“These finalists represent the nation’s top high school girls players who have enjoyed remarkable success this season, through their play on the court or their leadership from the sidelines,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club in a release. “The final few weeks of this season will be extremely competitive among the candidates as it always is, which makes narrowing this list down to one winner for each award an exciting challenge for our voters.” 

Each of the candidates are Jersey Mike’s Naismith first-team All-America selections, and will be honored for that achievement in the spring. The winner of the Naismith award will be announced March 4. 

Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.