The Insight News Standout Athlete of the Month is Park Center girls basketball senior center, Mikayla Hayes.
A two-time state champion, University of Florida signee and candidate for Ms. Basketball in Minnesota, Hayes is doing amazing things both on and off the court. In the first seven games of the season Hayes is averaging 12 points, nine rebounds, an astonishing 4.7 blocks and 2.4 steals per contest. Hayes is second in the state in blocks, and judging by her most recent performances, she could easily move up to the top spot in that category – blocking eight shots three times in her last four games. In those last four games – games against Anoka, Osseo, Maple Grove and Hopkins – Hayes has averaged 6.8 blocks.
What’s most impressive about Hayes’ scoring numbers is the fact that she’s only averaging about 20 minutes of playing time – inexplicably, just a bit more than a half of play and the least on her team among starters – and when she’s on the court she rarely touches the ball. Whether by design or teammates’ difficulty in passing inside to the 6’3” post, Hayes has generated almost all of her offense on her own via the offensive rebound. In an agonizing loss to top ranked and undefeated Hopkins, Hayes received zero passes from her teammates the entire first half and only two the second, yet she still gutted out 10 points to go with her 12 rebounds and eight blocks.
Off the court Hayes is a standout in the classroom as well, as the soon-to-be Florida Gator carries with her a stellar 3.3 grade point average.
At 5-2, the No. 9 (4A) ranked Pirates host their annual holiday tournament Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 28 and Dec. 29) playing Elk River and defending state champions, Minnetonka before resuming conference play Jan. 6 at Robbinsdale Armstrong. All games are 7 p.