Hale named NAIA National Player of the Week for first time

February 7, 2018

DaJonee Hale basketball

DaJonee Hale

Nene Hale of Anchorage has been named an NAIA All-American before, but now she’s playing like the player of the year.

The Central Methodist senior guard was named NAIA National Player of the Week for the first time in her career after another two more prolific performances that inched her closer to the school’s all-time scoring record.

The 5-foot-8 all-star also earned player-of-the-week honors for the fourth time this season in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Hale, of Houston High fame, compiled 58 points and 12 rebounds in a pair of wins that pushed Central Methodist’s winning streak to five games and elevated the Eagles into a first-place tie atop the conference at 11-2.

“Great honor for Nene and well deserved,” her coach Mike Davis told the school’s website. “She has played at an extremely high level and our team is following suit. These honors come when you are winning. We have a number of big games ahead of us, so our entire team will need to stay hungry and focused.”

Hale keyed an 80-79 upset win over No. 12 Baker after scoring the final six points for her team. Then she collected 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in an 82-74 win over Missouri Valley.

She leads the conference in scoring average [27.7] and ranks seventh nationally in points [443] and 33rd with 47 3-pointers.

Hale is now just 116 points from matching April Smith’s school record of 1,862 career points.