There was a definite strategy for opponents in dealing with McDonald’s All-American Charisma Osborne of Los Angeles Windward: Be physical. That’s not unusual for a dominant center in girls’ basketball, but Osborne was a point guard. She suffered more scratches and bruises than ever before.
“I just try to play through it,” she said.
And she did. Osborne averaged 17 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in leading Windward to a second consecutive Southern Section Open Division girls’ championship.
She has been selected The Times’ player of the year for the third consecutive season.
Windward coach Vanessa Nygaard admired Osborne for the way she was able to handle the physicality she faced this season. Opponents were focused on making her work hard and feel defensive pressure.
“Charisma handled that kind of adversity for someone of her age very well,” she said. “It’s tough to be a kid and someone is beating you up. It hasn’t been easy, and if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it, it wouldn’t be fun and it wouldn’t feel so good.”
Osborne’s three games this season against rival Chatsworth Sierra Canyon told the story. In the first game, she struggled early in a loss. In the second game in the Open Division final at Cal Baptist, she scored 27 points, rising up as she has done repeatedly in big games during her four-year career.
In a regional semifinal, she injured an ankle soon after the start and didn’t return until the fourth quarter. It was her final game of high school, a stinging defeat.
But she’ll be most remembered for her four years of versatility — scoring, rebounding, making steals, playing defense, shooting three-pointers, driving, dishing and leading.
Headed to UCLA, Osborne could be in the mode of former Windward and UCLA standout Jordin Canada of the Seattle Storm.