ST. GEORGE — Logann Laws watched from the sidelines on Thursday night at Desert Hills High School as her Cedar Reds played their last regular season game of her senior season with her No. 4 jersey on over a long-sleeve shirt and leggings. She was the designated hand-shaker for the five starters and dapped up the players during timeouts.
But she did not take the court. Nor had she in any of the team’s game in the season, save for an emotional moment on senior night when she landed her last basket of her prep career uncontested against Pine View, hugging every player and coach on both teams as she made her exit. Laws lost her entire senior season after undergoing emergency surgery in November to address a Chiari malformation, a growth of brain tissue into the spinal cord. The Reds lost one of its top players, a multi-sport star.
Laws watched as the Reds dropped the game to the Thunder, passing the torch to Desert Hills as the uncontested champion of Region 9. It completed the Thunder’s undefeated run through the region, a feat the Reds achieved in each of the last two seasons with Laws in the middle of it. It marked the end of an era for Cedar with little fanfare — but not none.
Earlier in the day, Laws was named a nominee for the McDonald’s All American Games, which highlights top basketball players from across the country in both boys and girls. Laws is the lone representative from Region 9 in either boys or girls basketball and only one of three girls from the state of Utah.
It’s not just a feel-good story either: Cedar head coach Corry Nielsen said nominations were made before the season and before they knew Laws would miss significant time, if not the entire season. For the grinder Laws, that’s how she wanted it to be.
“It means so much to me,” Laws told Cedar City News on Thursday. “I’ve worked my butt off for it. I’ve worked hard, so it feels good just to have it to pay off. I wouldn’t want any pity because I am hurt. If that’s what it was for, I would’ve been like, ‘No, I don’t want that.’ I wouldn’t want it. If it is from all my hard work and my dedication and what I showed the last three years, it means a lot to have.”
That hard work and dedication speaks for itself. Laws cemented herself as one of the state’s finest basketball players early.
Laws earned the nomination for three years of service to the Cedar basketball team. She made plenty of 5 a.m. trips to the gym. She was the point guard on a back-to-back state champion. She earned a full-ride scholarship to BYU to throw the javelin after winning the state championship in that event in her first year of competition. She did it all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and staying active with her church.
“I always tell girls who move in, who want to get better, ‘Do exactly what Logann Laws does. You become her best friend and you do exactly what she wants to do,'” Nielsen said. “It’s not too often you find those girls that are willing to put forward that time and effort and sacrifice other things to try to be great. In the past four years, we have spent thousands of hours just shooting and shooting and shooting. Just thousands, all year round, 5 a.m. sometimes, 10 p.m. other times, holidays weekends. She wants to be the very best.”
Laws was named All-State in 2020. She is the third representative on the All American nominees from Cedar’s girls team in the past two years, joining teammates Mayci Jorgerson and Japrix Weaver from a year ago.
Laws often was the supporting role to those two in the state title runs, dishing out assists to the two. This year was to be Laws’ turn in the spotlight. But even from the sidelines, her presence was felt and not just on the Cedar bench.
When teams around the state heard about Laws’ surgery, they started sending care packages. Even teams up north, from out of the region, did so. Regional teams like Pine View and Desert Hills went so far as to visit her at the hospital.
“She’s a great competitor,” Desert Hills head coach Ron Denos said. “It was a tough thing when we heard that. All the girls wanted to do something. Sa’de (Turlington) put her number on her basketball shoes…. We’re competitors, but when it comes down to this, there’s a lot of feelings and people are pushing for each other. She’s a great player. I really wanted to play her again this year because she was going to have to be that girl for them this year and I wanted to see what she was going to accomplish.”
Laws will not participate in the upcoming state tournament, nor would she have participated in the All American Games were they not canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But she will be able to throw the javelin in the spring and she will go on to BYU in the fall. Before then, Nielsen said he will have one last workout with her. He doesn’t know when it’ll be, and it’ll be up to her.
“She’s going to end her basketball career (at Cedar) on her terms,” Nielsen said.
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