RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Our second finalist for the KELOLAND Media Group All Star Player of the Year is St. Thomas More senior Reese Ross.

Two-time nominee Reese Ross began playing basketball in kindergarten and she quickly fell in love with the game.

“That passion was there right away from a young age. I couldn’t live without it. I knew that’s where I’m the happiest,” Ross said.

“Anytime there was downtime, especially even before the season, the ability to be in the gym on her own and push herself to become better, I’m very proud of what she was able to do,” St. Thomas More head coach Brandon Kandolin said.

Like several players, Ross grew up working with her father, who she credits him for her success.

“He’s always pushed me to be the best version of myself. He’s gotten me to where I am today, and without him, I wouldn’t be who I am, and I can’t be more thankful,” Ross said.

Ross helped lead St. Thomas More to a class ‘A’ state championship as a junior, when she posted 18 points per game. Despite missing the state tournament this year, Ross still improved her numbers as she scored 22 points per contest.

“She handles the ball fairly well. She’s able to shoot inside and out. I think again that athleticism, being able to jump up over people and get shots off,” Kandolin said.

The senior will now take her talents to the Pac 12 as she will play at Utah next season.

“It’s a Power-5 school and one of the best conferences in the country. I think I’m going to have a great opportunity just to continue to grow my game, and the sky’s the limit,” Ross said.

Ross and the Cavaliers went 17-5 this season.

The girls Player of the Year will be announced in our KELOLAND Media Group Player of the Year Special, which airs on Saturday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. CT.