High School Basketball

Fourth annual Donna L.J. Murphy Award winner named

Male's Ciaja Harbison (2) drives against Mercy's Maria Schmitz (4) during a KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen high school girls basketball game, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.
Male's Ciaja Harbison (2) drives against Mercy's Maria Schmitz (4) during a KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen high school girls basketball game, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. AP

Male star Ciaja Harbison on Thursday was named the winner of this year’s Donna L.J. Murphy Award.

The award, presented annually to a female senior basketball player who exemplifies the meaning of being a great student athlete, will be presented to Harbison during the Kentucky Lion’s Eye Foundation’s Mr. and Miss Basketball ceremony in Lexington on March 13.

“There were some outstanding nominees and this was not an easy decision,” said Donna Murphy, the former Newport star for whom the honor is named.

Harbison, a St. Louis signee, has played on Male’s varsity team for five seasons and helped guide the Bulldogs to the Sweet Sixteen semifinals in 2015. She’s a 1,000-point scorer, is averaging 14.6 points for Male (17-8) this season, and also is on the school’s honor roll.

“Preparation is important for future success; it’s the tool that helps an athlete stay focused on and off the court,” Harbison said in a news release. “I plan to pursue a career in nuclear science technology, therefore it is imperative that I be prepared both mentally and physically for the medical field.”

Harbison is the award’s fourth winner, joining Morgan Rich (Allen County-Scottsville, 2015), Emma Young (East Jessamine, 2016) and Jordan Brock (Harlan, 2017).

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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