Cody High School junior Molly Hays was chosen as the Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year for 2022-23 on Wednesday.

In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced the award via release to the media. Hays is the first selection from Cody High School. She is a two-time all-state and all-conference pick in her prep career.

The 5-8 guard has led the Fillies to a 22-0 record and a berth in the Class 4A girls’ state basketball tournament. Cody seeks its first Class 4A girls’ basketball state championship in school history this weekend. The Fillies won the regular-season championship in the 4A Northwest Conference and won the 4A West Regional Championship last weekend in Afton, WY.

Hays is averaging 20.5 points per game to lead Class 4A girls’ basketball and ranks fourth in the state. She is shooting 58 percent from the field at the time of her selection. Hays adds 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a state-best five steals per game. She is shooting 41 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent at the free-throw line. She ranks in the top ten in six of the eight Class 4A statistical categories.

The Fillies have a record of 64-7 in her career at Cody High School. They have finished as the Class 4A runner-up the last two seasons.

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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 4.05 GPA in the classroom. She still has one more year in high school.

Kelly Walsh head coach Kayla Gilliam gave Hays some high compliments about the way she plays the game.

“Molly has the ability, talent, and basketball IQ to completely take over games. She changes the game completely when on the floor. She is a threat with or without the ball in her hands.”

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), Allyson Fertig from Douglas High School (2020-21 & 2019-20), and Rylee Hladky of Campbell County High School (2018-2019), among the state’s list of previous winners of this award.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play It Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants has totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

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

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