- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Deajah Cofield’s introduction to Flint Hamady girls basketball didn’t involve playing.

Her job as a middle schooler was to keep players hydrated on the sidelines.

“Being a water girl, I still practiced with them,” Cofield said, laughing. “I did everything they did, it’s just when the games came I would get the water for them. I couldn’t wait to play.”

Five years later, the senior guard is Hawks coach Keith Smith’s latest standout.

Cofield was voted as The Associated Press’ Class C co-Player of the Year with Blissfield senior Kelsey Wyman.

“She’s been around for a while,” Smith said. “She always said she was going to give me her all and try to take me far in the tournament each year.”

Former Hamady star Jalisha Terry, now at St. Bonaventure University, was picked as last year’s Class C Player of the Year. The 2016-17 AP All-State Basketball Team is selected by Michigan sportswriters and broadcasters.

“Deajah is just like Jalisha was,” Smith said. “She spends a lot of time working and training on her own and when she’s with me she still comes in and gives me her all.”

Cofield averaged 15 points, five rebounds, four steals and five assists, including a career-high 32 points vs. Harbor Beach in the regional semifinals. She has offers from Tarleton State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Kentucky State, Morgan State and Clark Atlanta University, while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Cofield, 17, plans to make her decision after the season.

Her Hamady teammates Krystal Rice and Sasha Penn also received honorable mention.

Wyman averaged 23.1 points, 7.3 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 4.2 steals and one block per game, while shooting 61 percent from the field and 43 percent on 3-pointers. She led the team to an 18-2 record, state ranking and Lenawee County Athletic Association championship.

She has scored more than 1,500 career points and is a four-year varsity starter, who is headed to Ferris State.

“Obviously, I would like to be remembered as one of the best Blissfield basketball players and maybe even one of the best in the county,” Wyman said. “I’ve always been team-oriented and remained humble.”

Blissfield coach Ryan Gilbert said the team lives and dies with her on the floor.

“I’m confident when she has the ball,” Gilbert said. “It’s been a blessing these last four years.”

Haley Nelson (Sandusky), Juliana Phillips (Traverse City St. Francis), Elise Stuck (Charlevoix), Frankie Mattson (Munising), Taylor Bryant (Newberry), Nia Ahart (Grosse Pointe University Liggett), Gabrielle Elliott (Detroit Edison) and Eileene Naniseni (Mancelona) join Wyman and Cofield on the Class C AP First Team.

Monique Brown of Detroit Edison was named Coach of the Year.

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