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Boys, girls semifinalists announced for 2022 DiRenna Awards

Aidan Shaw Blue Valley.jpg
Posted at 4:27 PM, Mar 07, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ten boys and 10 girls were announced Monday as semifinalists for the 69th annual DiRenna Awards.

The awards are given annually to the top high school basketball players in the Kansas City area.

Five finalists for each award will be announced on Monday, March 14, with the winner set to be revealed April 7 during the DiRenna Awards show.

The female semifinalists are:

Emani Bennett, junior, Lee’s Summit North; Seneca Bevley, senior, Blue Springs South; Sania Copeland, senior, Olathe North; Beatrice Culliton, senior, St. Thomas Aquinas; Raegan Halliday, senior, Olathe South; S’Mya Nichols, junior, Shawnee Mission West; Grace Slaughter, junior, Grain Valley; Cierra Smith, junior, Grandview; Kennedy Townsend, senior, Park Hill; Jadyn Wooten, sophomore, Blue Valley.

The male semifinalists are:

Alex Benassi, senior, Lee’s Summit; Zaid Dajanbi, senior, Olathe Northwest; Mozae Downing, senior, Lawrence Free State; Kyan Evans, junior, Staley; Ikenna Ezeogu, senior, Blue Springs; Aidan Shaw, senior, Blue Valley; Damare Smith, senior, Shawnee Mission Northwest; Bennett Stirtz, senior, Liberty, Grant Stubblefield, junior, Blue Valley Northwest.

Bishop Miege's Peyton Verhulst repeated as the DiRenna Award winner last season, while Lawrence's Zeke Mayo and Bishop Miege's Mark Mitchell Jr. shared the boys' award last season.

Past winners of the boys' DiRenna Award, which started in 1955, include Jon Sundvold (1979), Russ Morman (1980), Calvin Thompson (1982), Anthony Peeler (1988), Jevon Crudup (1990), Greg Gurley (1991), JaRon Rush (1996-98), Kareem Rush (1999), Wayne Simien (2001) and Alec Burks (2009).

Past winners of the girls' DiRenna Award, which was first presented in 1997, include Claire Coggins (2002), Danielle Adams (2007) and Taber Spani (2008).