There are plenty of people who have claimed the nickname “G-Money.” When Greer Hoyem’s high school career is all said and done, however, the Menlo-Atherton junior may just corner the market on the moniker.
A 5-11 center, Hoyem dominated the post in leading M-A to one of the greatest seasons in program history. The Bears ran the table in the Peninsula Athletic League South Division to three-peat as league champions this season en route to a 29-3 overall record. They went on to earn the consolation championship in the Central Coast Section Open Division bracket and advanced to the second round in the CIF State Championship Open Division playoffs.
While M-A flourished behind a deep roster of talent where any one player could have been the star at another school, Hoyem was clearly the Bears’ superstar — as evidenced by her second straight PAL South Division Most Valuable Player honor — while averaging 19 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 assists per game.
With this impressive resume, Hoyem was the runaway choice as the 2016-17 Daily Journal Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.
“I think the great thing about Greer is she continues to get better,” M-A head coach Markisha Coleman said. “Since her freshman year she has had a desire to learn and improve her game. So every year she’s adding something.”
What Hoyem did this year better than her previous two seasons was convert first-shot chances. Towering over a majority of PAL players even as an underclassman, Hoyem feasted on offensive rebounds through her freshman and sophomore years. This year was different though.
A big part of Hoyem’s growth is the possibility she will have to move off the center position to excel in college. And she is already honing her jump shot while thinking forward to that inevitable collegiate career, and may even look to add a 3-pointer to her arsenal as a senior next year.
“I am tall for PAL, but when it comes to college I probably won’t be the [center],” Hoyem said. “I’ll probably be a [power forward or shooting forward], just hopefully being able to take advantage of my height around the perimeter.”
In some respects, Hoyem is following in the footsteps of current M-A senior Ofa Sili, with whom her varsity career is forever linked. Two years ago, when Hoyem was a freshman, she was slated to come off the bench as Sili’s backup at the center position. When Sili suffered a knee injury that cost her most of her 2014-15 sophomore campaign, however, Hoyem was thrust into the starting role, a role she never relinquished.
Sili returned near the end of the season to share in M-A’s postseason run as CCS Division I runner-up. Then last season, she returned as a power forward to complement Hoyem in the post. Sili proved an inside force but, in not needing to anchor the paint, she found other ways to affect the floor, including the 5-10 forward finding a surprising 3-point touch.
And while Sili’s shooting range may be a glimpse into Hoyem’s future, the impact the two had on one another by practicing against one another on a daily basis for the past two seasons has been immeasurable.
“It’s had a really big impact. For every drill we’ve been mostly partners,” Hoyem said. “We do everything together. And there was a time when I was like: ‘I want to be as good as Ofa.’”
Aspiring to be as good as any of M-A’s starting five, though, is a lofty goal. From junior guard Carly McLanahan’s 3-point marksmanship, to senior point guard Ilana Baer’s fluid ball control, to senior forward Megan Sparrow’s graceful baseline drives and adept defense, Hoyem was hardly a one-woman show this year.
Opposing defenses tended to treat her like one though. Consistently drawing double- and triple-teams, Hoyem integrated the passing game into her repertoire this season. And the team’s inside-out distribution revolutionized the way its offense ran.
“That right there was growth to me,” Coleman said. “She learned she didn’t have to force it up when she didn’t have to … and was able to distribute to her teammates.”
Yet the most primetime element of Hoyem’s game was her ability to finish. She posted a new career single-game scoring high Feb. 9 with 34 points in a regular-season win over Carlmont. And while she twice scored 27 points in the postseason, she could have easily surpassed the career mark in the state playoff opener against McClymonds-Oakland, a 71-26 victory in which Hoyem had 18 points by the half and sat the fourth quarter after totaling 27.
Still, the season ended in disappointment for the Bears, who entered the state championship bracket as the No. 1 seed in the Northern California Open Division. With a month having passed since M-A was eliminated in the second round by No. 9-seed Folsom, Hoyem said it was still a sore subject.
With the Bears improving every season since Hoyem’s freshman year though — M-A posted a 17-10 record in 2014-15; a 27-5 record in 2015-16; and a 29-3 record this year — Hoyem said she has gained enough perspective to be able to appreciate just how far the team has come in three seasons.
“We were really upset with how the season ended,” Hoyem said. “But the seniors really put it into perspective. They said when they were freshmen they had no idea this was a team that could be this good.”
And, yes, Hoyem still has one season to go with M-A. So, even with the dominance she’s displayed thus far, “G-Money” may have yet to cash in on the greatest chapter of her varsity legacy.