2022 DiRenna Finalists
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2022 Male DiRenna Finalists

Kyan Evans, Staley, led the Falcons to a 27-5 record this season that included a Suburban Red conference championship and a 3rd place finish in the MO Class 6 state championship.  He averaged 16.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals.  Evans was named the Suburban Red conference Player of the Year, and received MBCA All-State and 1st team 810 Varsity All-Metro recognition.  Just a junior, he is being recruited by several DI programs and will return to Staley next season.

Ikenna Ezeogu, Blue Springs, averaged 23 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals this season while leading his time to a 26-4 season and the quarterfinals of the MO Class 6 state tournament.  His postseason recognitions include being named the Suburban Gold conference Player of the Year, MBCA All-State, 1st team All-KCHS Hoops and 1st team 810 Varsity All-Metro.  Also an outstanding football player, Ezeogu will play at Iowa State next season.

 

Aidan Shaw, Blue Valley, averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.5 blocks this season.  He was named a member of the KS All-State Top 5 team, and has received several other recognitions including All-Conference, All-State All Classes by Sports in KS, 1st Team All-KCHS Hoops and 1st Team 810 Varsity All-Metro.  Most recently, he won the national High School Dunk contest that was held in New Orleans as part of the 2022 Final Four.  A Top 75 ranked recruit (2022 class), Shaw originally committed to Missouri but has reopened his recruitment and is being pursued by several top DI programs.

 

Damare Smith, Shawnee Mission Northwest, led his team to a 18-5 record and the quarterfinals of the KS Class 6A state tournament.  He averaged 18.4 points, 4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.9 steals this season.  He is now the Cougars All-Time leader in career points (1,406) and assists (205).  Smith was named the Sunflower League Player of the Year and to the KS All-State Top 5 team and received 1st Team 810 Varsity All-Metro team honors.  He is currently being recruited by several DI and DII programs.

 

Bennett Stirtz, Liberty, is a two-time DiRenna finalist who averaged 18.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.3 steals this season while leading his team to a 25-3 record (51 wins total in the past two years) and the Suburban Gold championship.  Stirtz has received several postseason recognitions including being named All-Conference, All-District and to the MBCA All-State team.  In addition, he was selected 1st Team All-KCHS Hoops and 1st Team 810 Varsity All-Metro teams.  He recently committed to continue his playing career next season with the DII National Champions Northwest Missouri State University.

2022 Female DiRenna Finalists

Beatrice Culliton, St. Thomas Aquinas, led her team to a 23-2 record and their sixth consecutive Kansas 5A state championship.   During her four years with the Saints she never lost in a game in the postseason.  She is a two-time DiRenna finalist and averaged 15.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season.  Culliton received numerous postseason honors including being named the EKL Player and KS 5A Player of the Year. 5A tournament MVP, KS All-Class 1st team and 810 Varsity All-Metro 1st team.  She will play at the University of Oklahoma next season.

 

S’Mya Nichols, Shawnee Mission West, led the Vikings to a 18-5 record and the KS Class 6A state quarterfinals.  She averaged 16.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.5 steals this season.  Nichols was selected the Sunflower League Player of the Year and named to the 810 Varsity All-Metro 1st team and KS All-State - All Classes by Sports in Kansas.  Just a junior, she has already has received over 20 offers from Power 5 schools.

 

Grace Slaughter, Grain Valley, a two-time DiRenna finalist averaged 31.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals in leading the Eagles to 20-5 record and the Suburban White conference title.  She received both the Suburban White conference and All-District Player of the Year awards as well as being named to the MBCA All-State team, and the  All-KCHS Hoops and 810 Varsity All Metro first teams.  Just a junior, Slaughter will return to Grain Valley next season and has committed to the University of Missouri.

 

Cierra Smith, Grandview, played a key role in the transformation of the Bulldog program from 3 wins to a record of 20-5 this season while averaging 22.4 points, 6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 4.4 steals.  She has received several postseason recognitions including being selected to the Suburban Blue all-conference team, MBCA All-State, 1st team All-KCHS Hoops and 1st team 810 Varsity All-Metro.  Smith will play at the University of Central Missouri next season.

 

Kennedy Townsend, Park Hill, is a two-time DiRenna finalist and averaged 21.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.9 steals this season.  She named to Suburban Gold all-conference and All-State Teams.  In addition, Townsend was selected to the 1st Team All-KCHS Hoops and 1st team 810 Varsity All-Metro.  She will play at the Creighton University next season.