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The Times' girls' basketball player of the year: Charisma Osborne of Windward

The Times' girls' basketball player of the year: Charisma Osborne of Windward
Charisma Osborne of Windward is The Times' girls' basketball player of the year. (Nick Koza)

To understand Charisma Osborne's ability to provide clutch performances in big basketball games, all you need to do is check out what she accomplished this season when L.A. Windward played in the Southern Section Open Division championship game, the Southern California regional final and the state Open Division final.

Her performances were extraordinary.

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There was her 25-point, 13-rebound effort against Studio City Harvard-Westlake. Then she had 22 points and nine rebounds against Clovis West. And in the state championship game at Sacramento's Golden 1 Center, she made six of eight three-point shots and finished with 26 points against Los Altos Pinewood. All were victories in pressure-filed championship games.

What does it mean?

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"Charisma is an example of John Wooden's pyramid of greatness, being at your best when your best is needed," coach Vanessa Nygaard said.

Osborne, a 5-foot-9 junior, has been selected The Times' girls' basketball player of the year for the second consecutive season.

Last year she led Windward to the state Division I championship. This season, the Wildcats won the triple crown — section, regional and state championships in the highest division. She averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists a game.

"She shows up when we need her, but we've had a lot more depth and a lot more shooters around her this year," Nygaard said. "Last year she was more of a shooter. This year she has more of a complete game."

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Whether rebounding, scoring, defending, making assists, coming up with steals or just leading, Osborne found ways to have an impact on a game.

In an NBA arena, she showed how much she has improved as a three-point shooter. Last season in the same arena she struggled at times. This season, she made Pinewood pay in the state final, even sinking a shot from well beyond the NBA three-point line.

She was motivated by the goal of proving her team was the best.

"We just wanted to show who was No. 1 in California," Osborne said.

The offseason ahead will revolve around college recruiting. She has lots of options and a tough decision to make. Nygaard is just happy she'll be around for one more season.

"I stand by it, that Charisma is the best player in California," Nygaard said.

Charisma Osborne scores 26 points

Twitter: @latsondheimer

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