Stevens senior Kyah Watson earns final Player of the Year nomination

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Rapid City Stevens senior Kyah Watson is the final female nominee for the Sanford Pentagon/KELOLAND Media Group Player of the Year award. The Raiders finished 20-1, but were undefeated with Watson, who made everyone around her better.

Kyah Watson does it all on the court, averaging 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals per game during her senior season.

“Four-time state tournament appearances, three-time all-stater, it’s just a testament to the hard work this kid has put in,” Rapid City Stevens head coach Travis Swartz said.

Swartz never doubted Watson’s talent, but was thrilled to see her step up as a team leader.

“As a senior she turned into quite a great leader, too. She was pretty demanding of her teammates and expected them to perform at a high level,” Swartz said.

“Coming into senior year, just being more of a leader for my team and being more vocal and doing what I can,” Rapid City Stevens senior Kyah Watson said.

After four productive seasons at Stevens, Watson will now take her skill set to South Dakota.

“I think she’s a matchup nightmare for teams because she can play positions one through four. She’s a big point guard, and then if you want to play her at the four you’re going to have to have a big come out and guard her where she can pull them out and take them to the rack,” Swartz said.

Growing her mental game will be key to the transition process.

“It’ll definitely be different and I’ll have to learn how to go hard every day with no breaks, and stuff like that, and just working hard every day that I’m there,” Watson said.

“She’s always had the skills, always had the athleticism, but she needs to find that killer mentality, all the time,” Swartz said.

The Sanford Pentagon/KELOLAND Media Group Player of the Year award winners will be announced during a KELOLAND special this Friday at 6:30 p.m. Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self will share a message during the 30-minute program.

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