These kids can play

Boulder City High School student Avalon Frantz was recently named one of 12 national finalists for the 2012 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, which honors students who excel in academics, athletics and community service. The senior, who competes in volleyball and track for the Eagles, could become the second straight Southern Nevadan to win the award, following The Meadows’ Garrett Gosse, who is a freshman quarterback at Princeton after winning the male honor last year. Frantz, who was selected from more than 45,000 senior nominees, has a 4.8 grade-point average, is the president of the National Honor Society and student body secretary. Frantz, who has not chosen a college, will fly with her parents to New York for the Dec. 7 announcement of the winner.

Her achievement punctuates what has been a stellar month for young Valley-based athletes. Las Vegan Dylan Kwasniewski, 17, continues his development on the racetrack after being named one of NASCAR’s “Next 9” future stars earlier this year. Last month, Kwasniewski became the youngest driver ever to win the NASCAR K&N Series West season title.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 12, 19-year-old Las Vegas baseball phenom Bryce Harper was named National League Rookie of the Year following his standout season with the Washington Nationals. And Bishop Gorman graduate Shabazz Muhammad received clearance from the NCAA to begin playing basketball for UCLA, this coming after Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea wore a “Free Shabazz Muhammad” T-shirt while playing the national anthem before the Bruins’ season opener Nov. 9.

As for the local kid who stayed home, Mojave High grad Anthony Marshall has evolved into a stellar senior point guard at UNLV—alas, no word yet from Flea on that.

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When you're recruiting at a national level, there isn't much time to feel sorry for yourself. After losing out on top-rated high school guard Isaac Hamilton last week, UNLV has another huge recruiting event coming up this weekend, as elite power forward Jermaine Lawrence will be visiting. Lawrence is down to four finalists, and this visit will play a huge part in his decision, so expect the UNLV staff to roll out the proverbial red carpet.