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GIRL'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lakiah Sims, Drew

Drew senior Lakiah Sims finished her career with a all-time school record 1,485 points and 998 rebounds. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Drew senior Lakiah Sims finished her career with a all-time school record 1,485 points and 998 rebounds. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

On Sims

Vitals: Was named the Region 4-AAAAA Player of the Year by the region coaches. She averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds this past season in leading the Titans to the region tournament championship. The Panthers lost to eventual state champion Tucker in the semifinals. Throughout the postseason, Sims averaged 28 points to help lead the team.

Why Sims: As the lone player on the Titans roster with state playoff experience, Sims was asked to become more of a vocal leader for a young team. The 6-foot center/forward finished her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She helped lead the Titans to a 26-4 record and only one loss in the region. Drew won its second region championship in program history.

Others considered: Jonesboro junior Michaelle Smith; Forest Park junior Breasia McElrath.

What was the highlight of your season? “The entire season was great because we bonded as a team and accomplished most of our goals. It was a great feeling after the game and we beat our rival Forest Park twice during the season. There was a lot of energy around the school when we were making our playoff run. As a whole, the entire season was fun.”

What did you improve on the most this season? “The main area I saw a lot of improvement was in my leadership. I dedicated myself to helping this team get back to the state playoffs. I felt I got better in a lot of areas during my four years at Drew. This season, I saw a lot of improvement in my offensive skills.”

What was your biggest challenge? “It has to be in the area of becoming a leader on this team. In the years past, someone else had that role because they were seniors. With me being the only senior, I had to step up and help lead this team. I thought I did a pretty good job. I did the best that I could.”

Coach Candence Jackson on Sims’ season: “She had a tremendous season for us as our leader on and off the court. When players and coaches come up to you after a game and give you a compliment about Lakiah, it shows that she is a great person and player. She was our go-to player, and she did everything we asked of her. Her hard work and leadership had an effect on the entire team.”

Jackson on Sims’ career at Drew: “She was a four-year starter in our program, and ended up being our all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She has been around this program, and has grown each year into a great player. We are going to definitely miss her as both a basketball player and student at Drew.”

QUICK HITS

Favorite TV show: The Game

Favorite movie: Love and Basketball

Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese

Favorite place to spend time: In the gym

Most listened to song in iPod: Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mills