High School Basketball

This Tri-City basketball star is now a national player of the year

Tri-Cities Prep basketball player Talia von Oelhoffen (front row, third from right) was named the National Athletic Association of Private Schools Division 3 National Basketball Player of the Year.
Tri-Cities Prep basketball player Talia von Oelhoffen (front row, third from right) was named the National Athletic Association of Private Schools Division 3 National Basketball Player of the Year.

Talia von Oelhoffen has had quite the summer, and she's just two weeks in.

An incoming sophomore at Tri-Cities Prep, von Oelhoffen was named the National Athletic Association of Private Schools Division 3 National Basketball Player of the Year on Monday.

She is the first freshman to win the award, boy or girl, at any division.

She follows in the footsteps of former Prep standouts Will Hoppes (2010) and Joe Campbell (2007), who won the same award in football.

"We are excited for her," said Prep athletic director Dan Whitsett, who noted that Division 3 schools are 200 students or less. "We don't nominate for this. It was totally out of the blue."

Whitsett said he received an email from the NAAPS, then tweeted out the news before contacting von Oelhoffen.

"I tweeted it, then texted her and told her to see the tweet," Whitsett said. "This is very cool."

Talia Von O.jpg
Talia von Oelhoffen

Von Oelhoffen, who returned from an adidas Girls USA Select Team trip to Italy early Saturday morning, said the award was a nice surprise.

"I didn't even know about the association or the award," she said. "It's really cool."

The Division 3 team features players from all over the county. Von Oelhoffen and Tatiana White of LaSalle were the only Washington players honored.

A 6-foot guard, Von Oelhoffen averaged 27.9 points, 11 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.2 steals for Prep, led the Jaguars to the EWAC regular-season title and their first 2B state tournament, where they finished 1-2.

"The individual awards are nice, but my goal is a state championship," she said. "I'll be satisfied when we get that."

Von Oelhoffen also is a 4.0 student.

"She's the ultimate student-athlete," Whitsett said.

Annie Fowler: 582-1574; @tchicequeen
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