White River High School
She played in the All-State games in both basketball and volleyball and that should give you good reason to expect that Kendall Bird of White River would be named the $5,000 scholarship winner of the Clint Names Multi-Sport Excel-lence Award. In basketball she was her school’s all-time leading scorer with 1900 career points, was named to the All-State Tournament team and was the News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year. She was SPSL MVP and carried a 3.78 grade point aver-age. It’s no wonder that she is a University of San Diego signee. In volleyball she was the 2016 SPSL Most Valuable Player, an All-Area choice of the News Tribune and she earned a spot in the All-State game. In a 3–2 win over Fife she had 25 kills, and she was a dominant player throughout the year, earn-ing Mountain Division MVP along the way. Here’s what her basketball teammates say about her. Georgia Lavinder points out that “she’s always the first one to practice. She’s a great teammate.” Sofia Lavinder tells it this way: “When she gets the ball, people are afraid. They don’t want to guard her. In practice we have to triple-team her and she still scores on us!” So that’s why she had 33 points in the league’s title game? In the district championship game she had 29 points and 15 rebounds. Against 4A Bothell she had 27 points and 11 boards, and that was against Taya Corosdale, a 6-2 Oregon State U. signee. In the state tournament she aver-aged 20 points a game and had 23 in a place-clinching win over East Valley. How does her coach, Chris Gib-son, describe her? Sometimes when people look at her they go, She’s pretty laid back. She’s pretty calm. “But there’s a fierce burning desire to be great” he adds, “She will scratch your eyeballs out!” By the way, if her family had their way she probably would have added a third sport to her resume. Her dad played baseball at Central Washington and her brother at Whitworth. She grew-up on baseball fields. She was supposed to be a softball player. But Bird wanted a more fast-paced sport. She found two. White River was blessed with maybe the best girl basketball player in the school’s history.