The Western Kentucky Lady Toppers’ big week continued Tuesday with a major award for a future player.
LaRue County senior guard Ivy Brown, a WKU signee, was named 2014 Kentucky Miss Basketball Tuesday night at a ceremony in Lexington.
“I was definitely very excited,” Brown said. “It’s a huge, huge honor, knowing that the coaches picked me to represent Kentucky like that.”
The 6-foot-2-inch guard is the Lady Toppers’ first Miss Basketball to join the program out of high school since Crystal Kelly did so in 2004 out of Sacred Heart. 2006 winner Arnika Brown, from Christian County, was the last Miss Basketball to play for WKU after transferring from Kentucky.
Twelve previous Kentucky Miss Basketball winners have attended WKU. Four of the top 10 scorers in Lady Topper history won the award.
WKU brought in 10 Miss Basketball winners from 1981-97, but Kelly and Arnika Brown were the only two since 1998 until this season.
“I’m excited to be down there and be able to add to all of the accomplishments they’ve had,” Ivy Brown said. “Bringing them back to the top is definitely something I’m looking forward to.”
The other finalists for this year’s award were Anderson County’s MacKenzie Cann and Eriel McKee, Newport Central Catholic’s Nicole Kiernan, Perry County Central’s Kayla Rankin, Ballard’s Javonna Layfield and Sacred Heart’s Daijia Ruffin.
Ivy Brown averaged 24.4 points and 12.6 rebounds as LaRue County finished 24-7 and fell to state runner-up Elizabethtown in the Region 5 championship. She holds the LCHS records for career points, rebounds and steals.
Brown, who was also named a nominee for the 2014 McDonald’s All American Game, is ranked 73rd nationally in the 2014 class by ESPN’s HoopsGurlz and 80th by All Star Girls Report. She chose WKU over Kentucky, Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Tech.
She said she’s kept her eye on the Lady Tops’ run to a Sun Belt Conference title and NCAA berth, and she’s excited for what the future could hold for her and the program.
“It’s exciting to watch and see how far they’ve come, ” she said. “Even with (junior guard) Alexis (Govan) out, they’ve played awesome. I think with Alexis they could’ve done even more damage. It’s just an awesome turnaround.”