KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Grain Valley senior Grace Slaughter was announced Wednesday as the 2022-23 Gatorade Missouri Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
She is the first winner of the award from a Kansas City-area high school since former Hickman Mills star Tyra White claimed the honor in 2006-07.
Slaughter scored 25 points Tuesday in a 51-41 loss against Columbia Rock Bridge in the Missouri Class 6A, District 7 championship game.
Grain Valley finished the season 23-5 behind Slaughter, a 6-foot-2 wing who averaged 27.9 points as a senior this season.
She recovered remarkably well from a torn ACL in February 2022 and also averaged 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.8 steals for the Eagles as a senior.
“Grace is a phenomenal player,” Belton coach Jim Underwood said in a statement from Gatorade announcing the award. “GV shares the ball better than any team in the area and that speaks well to her leadership. She lifts that program with her effort and attitude.”
Slaughter, who maintains a 4.42 grade-point average, has been an elite scorer throughout her career — averaging 23.4 points as a freshman, 27.3 points as a sophomore and 31.3 as a junior before her knee injury.
Two years ago, Slaughter helped the U.S. junior national team win a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 championships. She averaged 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds for Team USA.
Slaughter finished her Grain Valley career with 2,575 points, making her one of the top scorers in Missouri state history.
The Gatorade girls basketball award has been presented annually since 1987-88 in Missouri.
Slaughter joins an elite sorority as only the seventh player from the Kansas City area to win the award along with White, Pembroke Hill’s Erneisha Bailey (2003-04), Lee’s Summit North’s Claire Coggins (2002-03), Pembroke Hill’s Molly Beal (1998-99), North Kansas City’s Lauren Jackson (1997-98) and St. Teresa’s Academy’s Rachel Stark (1995-96).