The state of California's leading scorer, Brandi Collato is also a great defensive player.
Brandi Collato of Santa Fe Christian High School in Solana Beach, Calif., was nominated for our High School Hero page by Gballmag.com reader Jennifer Adams of Carlsbad, Calif. "I have had the privilege of watching her while I have watched my friends on the team play and I admire her hard work," says Adams. "She is also an exceptional student. Please take a look at her, she is a very talented and special person."
Collato is indeed worth a closer look, as she recently broke the San Diego Section career scoring record with 3,325 points--second all-time in California history to Cheryl Miller's 3,446 points. Collato finished the 2000-01 season as the state's leading scorer, with an average of 32.9 points per game, while leading her school into the Southern California Division V regional finals, where they lost to Mission Prep 57-41.
As a junior, Collato averaged 26.6 points and led Santa Fe Christian to its second consecutive Division V crown in the San Diego Section, pouring in 30 points for a 49-39 victory over La Jolla Country Day School. She then scored 39 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 57-41 win over Los Angeles Pilgrim in the CIF Division V Southern California Regional finals, breaking Lisa Leslie's prep record for the most points in a regional game (set in 1990). Santa Fe Christian eventually finished second in the state that year, losing by one point in the 2000 Division V CIF finals.
Despite her gaudy stats, Collato is also an outstanding defensive player. "Everyone thinks of her as a scorer," Head Coach Paul Clark said of Collato in the North County Times last season. "But we put her on our opponent's best player every game, whether she's a post player or a guard. Brandi has some skeptics because we're a small school, but she's the real deal."
Collato also provides a good example for her teammates. "She always sets the tone by her example and her work ethic and the way she treats the other players," Clark said in the San Diego Union-Tribune last November. "She holds them accountable when they need to be held accountable and she encourages them when they need to be encouraged. She's a phenomenal leader, a natural leader."
Collato has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of San Diego, a NCAA Division I school in the West Coast Conference, this fall.
Article written by Gball Associate Editor Jim Catalano.
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