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Still the best in Oregon

Reese repeats as Gatorade Oregon 'Player of the Year'

Clackamas High School basketball standout Jen Reese gained a huge honor earlier this month, when Gatorade named her its 2010-11 Oregon Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

'The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Reese as Oregon's best high school girls basketball player,' Gatorade said, in a release announcing Reese's selection.

It's the second year in a row that Gatorade has honored Reese as Oregon's top female high school basketball player.

Reese, who a year ago became the first basketball player - boy or girl - from Clackamas to receive the Gatorade honor, joins an elite group of Oregon players. Tara Harrington of Mazama (1992-93) and Kate Lanz of Central Catholic (2008-09) are the only other players from Oregon selected to receive the honor twice.

Oregon City's girls team has had eight Gatorade Players of the Year: Karen Alcorn (1988), Anne McShane (1990), Kim Wilkerson (1991), Tammy Arnold (1995), Ashley Smith (1997), Lindsey Yamasaki (1998), Ashley Gonnerman (2003) and Kristen Forristall (2004).

'It's pretty cool,' Reese said. 'I wasn't expecting it. It's awesome to get it twice.'

Reese has had a stellar career at Clackamas. A 6-2 senior, she has been selected the Three Rivers League 'Player of the Year' the past three seasons and her teammates have named her team MVP for three seasons.

Her sophomore season she averaged 17 points - on 60 percent shooting, and 10 rebounds, as she led the Cavaliers to the state quarterfinals.

As a junior, Reese led the Cavaliers to a 21-3 record, averaging 21 points (on 57 percent field goal shooting), 12.3 rebounds and only two turnovers a game.

And this season, Reese led the Cavaliers to their best season in school history, averaging 19.1 points (on 54 percent shooting), 11.9 rebounds and only 1.1 turnovers, despite being double- and triple-teamed in every game.

The Cavaliers this year placed second at state, their highest placing in school history. They also went 27-2, setting a new school record for most wins in a season. They won their first ever outright league championship, going undefeated in league (15-0) and sweeping their three-game series with Oregon City. And they had a school-record 25-game win string along the way.

Looking back on the past season, Reese said, 'This season has been amazing. We've accomplished so much. I'm so proud of my team. We've made school history.'

'I think getting the honor for the second year in a row is great for Jen Reese and great for Clackamas,' said Clackamas coach Ken Trapp. 'It's very well deserved. Jen is the best basketball post in the state. She's a pure basketball player. She shoots the ball well, she rebounds well.

'As far as basketball skill, she doesn't have a weakness. Her shooting touch is unmatched for any high school player in the state at the post position. Her rebounding style reminds me of Dennis Rodman She goes up and tips it to herself. And I mean that as a compliment….

'She's my second Gatorade 'Player of the Year.' I had a girl named Jen Reese as my first.'

'Jen Reese is the best player in the state by anyone's measure,' said Michael Abraham, Reese's AAU coach with Team Concept. 'She gets multiple double- and triple-teams, and is basically unstoppable. She was a dominant player last year, and she's a dominant player this year. She produces night-in and night-out.'

A 3.0 student, Reese has excelled off the court as well. She has coached both boys and girls at Clackamas youth basketball camps since she was a freshman. A member of Clackamas High's leadership program since she was a freshman, Reese has also volunteered with her school's Winter Rage project, which collects funds and distributes clothes and presents to the needy.

As a state winner, Reese is now a finalist for Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year, an honor which will be announced later this month.

Heavily recruited by a number of big-time college programs, Reese has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Colorado.

Reese says she plans to study communications, and she would someday like to coach at the collegiate level.