Heather Bates, who graduated from Madera High in 2003, is the best girls basketball player ever to lace up a pair of sneakers for Madera — no argument, not even close.
A four-year varsity starter for the Coyotes, she was the centerpiece of the program and led the Coyotes to a 27-1 record as a senior when Madera captured its first, and only, Valley championship in girls basketball.
She was a rock star in Madera and the standing-only crowds during games attested to that. She had an uncanny basketball I.Q. But athletically, she was off the charts. She could drain the 3-pointer, put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket with power and if a team wanted to stop her, a double-team was the only way.
She averaged more than 27 points a game her senior season and was named Valley Player of the Year...