For the second consecutive year, Cody High School’s Molly Hays was selected as the Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year. This honor was for the 2023-24 season. In its 39th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced the award via release to the media. Hays is the only player ever chosen from Cody High School. She was a four-time all-state and all-conference pick in her prep career.

The 5-8 guard led the Fillies to a 22-3 record and the Class 4A girls’ semifinals. The Fillies won the regular-season championship in the 4A Northwest Conference and the 4A West Regional Championship in the 2024 season. Hays suffered a knee injury early in the second quarter of a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Sheridan. She did not play again at the state tournament, except for a ceremonial appearance in the third-place game.

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Hays averaged 21.6 points per game to lead Class 4A girls’ basketball and ranked third in the state. She shot 51 percent from the field and 79 percent at the free-throw line. Hays added 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and five steals per game. She shot 34 percent from deep and was top-five in both field goal and free-throw shooting percentage in Class 4A. She ranked in the top ten in five Class 4A statistical categories and led the division in scoring and steals for a second straight year.

The Fillies had a record of 89-10 in her career at Cody High School. They won the 4A state championship her junior year and added two more runner-up finishes. Hays concluded her prep career at No. 16 on the state’s all-time scoring list with 1,689 points.

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hays has volunteered locally as a speech pathology intern and as a youth basketball coach. She has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives on behalf of her church youth group. Hays has maintained a weighted 4.09 GPA in the classroom. She signed her National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Idaho State University last fall.

Lovell head coach Chris Edwards provided some high praise for Hays about the way she plays the game.

“Molly impacts the game heavily in every aspect on the court plus she is an exceptional leader to her teammates. Molly plays with such poise on the court and dominates the game.”

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. It distinguishes Molly Hays as Wyoming’s best high school girls’ basketball player. She is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

Hays joins recent winners Jordan Jones of Cheyenne East (2021-22) and Allyson Fertig from Douglas High School (2020-21 & 2019-20), among the state’s list of previous winners of this award.

As part of Gatorade’s commitment to breaking down barriers in sport, every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $4.9 million across more than 1,600 organizations.

Information from a press release from The Gatorade Company was used in this story.

2024 State 4A Basketball Tournament-Friday

2024 State 4A Basketball Tournament-Friday

Gallery Credit: Frank Gambino

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