AURORA | A day before she leads the Grandview girls basketball team into the Class 5A state semifinals, senior Lauren Betts has been named Gatorade’s Colorado Player of the Year for the second time in her prep career.
The 6-foot-7 Betts, the consensus top-rated player in the country in the Class of 2022 and a Stanford University signee, has averaged 17.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game in leading the Wolves to a 16-9 record.
Betts is coming off a 21-point effort in Grandview’s victory over Cherry Creek in the Great 8, which earned coach Josh Ulitzky’s Wolves a chance to compete in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Thursday against Highlands Ranch at the Denver Coliseum.
“Lauren has always presented problems since she arrived at Grandview at 6-foot-7,” Arapahoe coach Jerry Knafelc said in Gatorade’s press release. “This season, Lauren has really improved her overall game. She has developed a consistent mid-range shot, improved her free throws and, more importantly, she has improved her passing and decision-making.”
Along with all the other state winners, Betts is a finalist for Gatorade’s National Player of the Year award.
Off the court, Betts has a 3.58 Grade Point Average, while she is also a volunteer locally with Project C.U.R.E., which prepares medical supplies to be sent to developing countries around the world. She has also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and coached youth basketball.
Betts is also a McDonald’s All-American Game selection.
Grandview has now had two multiple-time Gatorade Colorado Players of the Year, as Betts joins Michaela Onyenwere, a three-time winner in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Onyenwere went on to star at UCLA and was the WNBA Rookie of the Year last season for her play with the New York Liberty.
Other girls basketball players from Aurora programs to win Gatorade’s Colorado Player of the Year award (which began in 1985) are Francesca Belibi — Betts’ future teammate — in 2019, Justine Hall (2014) and Diani Akigbogun (2013), all of Regis Jesuit.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports