Athlete of the Season: NMB star Farmer tops winter list

One of the mildest winters in recent history has been good news for farmers, but none more than North Myrtle Beach High’s India Farmer.

The junior basketball star, who ranks as one of the the top college prospects for the Class of 2013, also earned the title as the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Winter Sports Season.

Farmer received more than 45,000 votes out of the more than 100,000 cast, outdistancing runner-up distance runner Jonathan Kinsey with more than 27,000 votes. That means about 70 percent of you love a good underdog story, and the top two athletes certainly provided them this winter.

Farmer’s victory is one more about overcoming obstacles than sheer statistics. Although she averaged a double-double in points and rebounds for the Lady Chiefs over the second half of the season, she was MIA in the first half.

That’s because weeks before the start of the season she was diagnosed with severe anemia and kept off the court while she tried to raise the level of iron in her blood.

The combination of medication, rest and (worst of all) eating iron-rich foods like liver, fish and fresh vegetables put Farmer back in the post in no time, and her productivity increased with her strength.

Farmer helped the Lady Chiefs defeat two-time defending state champion Myrtle Beach for the first time in seven seasons and reach the Class AAA playoffs. Look out for the Lady Chiefs and Farmer next season.

Finishing on her heels  was another story of perseverance. Kinsey, who finished fifth in the Myrtle Beach Marathon in a personal-best time of 2:41:17, conquered the 26.2-mile course despite dealing with the flu.

Rounding out the top five were three more hoops stars – St. James junior Caleb Duggan, who averaged 20 points per game in leading the Sharks to the Class AAA playoffs; North Myrtle Beach junior Taylor Allman, an all-state selection who averaged more than 17 points per game; and Myrtle Beach senior Khadijah Sessions, the Class AAA Player of the Year who averaged a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Weighing in at fourth, fifth and sixth places was a trio of wrestlers – the North Myrtle Beach tag team of Hampton Harmon and Joey Small, and Carolina Forest senior Mike Coles. CFHS classmate and boys basketball player Aaron Williams was next in the voting, followed by St. James wrestler Codi Rothermel, Socastee girls basketball player Kirstin Zanardo,  and junior swimmer Patrick Sullivan.

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