YPSILANTI — Mya Petticord wants to one day have her own brand of clothes and shoes.
It starts very well.
The Ypsilanti Arbor Prep senior led the Gators to the Division 3 state championship this season and is Michigan’s Associated Press Division 3 Player of the Year.
“Obviously winning a state championship was not easy,” said Petticord. “We knew we had to fight through adversity. We knew we had to give 100% all the time. Last year we lost at regionals and we didn’t want that to happen again, so we focused even more. We had to buy this ring. Every training was directed towards this objective.
Two players from the Upper Peninsula were mentioned in the Division 3 vote. Senior Ally Schultz of St. Ignace made the first team, while Marybeth Halonen of Calumet earned an honorable mention.
Petticord averaged 22.9 points per game with 102 assists, 89 steals and 50 3-pointers. She shot 50% from the floor and more than 80% from the free throw line. She scored 27 points in 31 minutes in the state championship game as Arbor Prep eliminated previously undefeated Kent City 54-50.
Petticord has lived up to expectations this season. She entered the season as a Miss Basketball contestant and the Gators were one of the favorites to win a state title. The Gators feared no one. They went 18-2 in the regular season, were ranked No. 1 all year, and finished with Michigan’s highest power rating in Division 3.
“We played a lot of basketball this summer and played across the state this year,” she says. “It helped us prepare.”
Arbor Prep head coach Scott Stine said it was a privilege to coach Petticord for four years. Sometimes he had to turn off the lights in the gymnasium to get her to leave.
“If someone took the basketball away from her, I think she would be lost in life” Stin said. “She’s a genuine, humble kid. She’s always been that way. She’s pretty quiet. Every year I’ve seen her grow and mature. This year she was much more of a vocal leader. It’s been a pleasure to coach her.”
Petticord grew up in Detroit. Her father introduced her to the sport when she was 7 years old.
“I grew up playing with boys most of my life” she says. “I didn’t start playing basketball with girls until I was about 12 years old. I really am a gym fan. When I love something, I put my heart into it. I have to bring in my work.
She worked with former Detroit Boys head coach Pershing AW Canada and trained in Texas during the offseason. She recently signed up with Texas A&M.
Petticord finished her career as Arbor Prep’s all-time leading scorer with 1,709 career points and ranks in the top five in several other school record book categories. The Gators have won 19, 19, 14 and 25 games in four years.
At Texas A&M, she will play basketball and work on her future goal.
“I want to create my own brand – a shoe brand and a clothing brand” she says. “I feel like this is the right college to be in. It’s the best for me. I haven’t figured out my major or minor yet, maybe entrepreneurship or marketing. I know just that I want to build my own brand.
Petticord leads a 12-man first team that includes Schultz and two of Petticord’s teammates, second student Stephanie Utomi and senior Karianna Woods. The rest of the team includes seniors Lizzy Liedel of Erie Mason, Grace Bradford of Maple City Glen Lake, Emma Schierbeek of McBain, Kyla Wiersema of Muskegon Western Michigan Christian and Mackenzie Miller of Schoolcraft and juniors Lexi Bowers of Kent City, Adelyn Moore from Caro, and Samantha Dietz from Watervliet.
Kent City’s Aleah Holcomb is Coach of the Year. She took over the program in October, replacing longtime head coach Scott Carlson. Even though Holcomb had to replace almost everyone in the lineup, the Eagles didn’t skip a beat, winning 26 straight before falling to Arbor Prep in the Finals.
The Division 3 All-State women’s basketball team was selected by a panel of eight sportswriters.