Final USA Boys Basketball Honors

Mater Dei's Stanley Johnson attacks the basket in front of Mitty's Aaron Gordon in this year's CIF Open Division state final. Both players and both teams appeared in final honors released by the National Sports News Service. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Mater Dei’s Stanley Johnson attacks the basket in front of Mitty’s Aaron Gordon in this year’s CIF Open Division state final. Both players and both teams appeared in final honors released by the National Sports News Service. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Mater Dei No. 7 overall, Aaron Gordon first five overall and Stanley Johnson edged for top junior. Montverde Academy of Florida also claims crown in nation’s oldest national boys basketball rankings.

All 50 teams were written up with explanations for why they were placed in these positions. These are the official National Sports News Service Top 50 Team Rankings, which date back to the 1952 season. Montverde Academy of Florida is the 2012-13 mythical national champion.

Complete writeups for the first 15 teams, first five All-American players and all from California are provided below. For a look at the complete packages plus lists of national players/coaches of the year, check out HighSchoolHardwood.com.

Contributing: Doug Huff, Mark Tennis, Paul Muyskens

Final 2012-13 National Sports News Service
Top 50 National Team Rankings

Note: Preseason ranking in parentheses; the editors of HighSchoolHardwood.com were the only national ranking compilers to have Montverde Academy as the preseason No. 1 ranked team.

1. (1) Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 26-2
The Eagles defeated No. 22 Oak Hill Academy (77-71, OT), Prime Prep Academy of Dallas (57-55) and No. 2 St. Benedict’s (67-65) to capture the 2013 National High School Invitational (NHSI) in North Bethesda, Md. to conclude the 2012-13 season. Montverde Academy defeated St. Benedict’s on a last-second 3-pointer by Jalyn Patterson. In the NHSI semis, St. Benedict’s ended the 54-game winning streak of No. 3 Findlay Prep, which beat Montverde Academy at the buzzer at the Hoophall Classic. Montverde’s other loss was also at the buzzer against unranked Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) two nights before the Findlay Prep game. Montverde Academy started off as the nation’s preseason No. 1 team, and its overall schedule and key wins were enough to overcome the two close losses to become the first ever Florida team to finish ranked No. 1 in the nation since the National Sports News Service began end-of-the-season ratings in 1952. It’s also the first ever mythical national title for coach Kevin Boyle, who had two teams at now closed St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) open preseason No. 1 and a few others come within a buzzer beater of the No. 1 ranking.

2. (16) St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 30-2
There was some discussion to keep Findlay Prep in front of St. Benedict’s since the Pilots did beat No. 1 Montverde Academy, but in the final analysis we decided the head-to-head factor was stronger plus the Gray Bees did avenge their other loss with a resounding win. The Gray Bees also ended two of the nation’s longest win streaks en route to finishing runner-up to No. 1 Montverde Academy 67-65 in the NHSI end-of-season tournament. St. Benedict’s halted the nation’s longest skein of 83 games by No. 36 St. Anthony and ended a 54-game run by No. 3 Findlay Prep 60-57 in the NHSI semifinals. The Gray Bees also defeated two other FAB 50 ranked foes, No. 32 Montrose Christian and No. 22 La Lumiere. Syracuse-bound Tyler Ennis, a 6-foot-3 point guard, led the way with norms of 20.8 points, 6.1 assists and 3.1 steals a game. Other college-bound seniors are forwards Mike Young (Pittsburgh) and Denzell Taylor (Old Dominion). Isaiah Briscoe is a touted sophomore guard.

3. (2) Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 35-1
It was quite a first season for coach Todd Simon, who took over the program after Michael Peck left for the NDBL. The Pilots could have declined an invitation to the NHSI and likely secured its second mythical national title based on the teams they already beat, but the two-time defending event champions took on the challenge and it took a strong closing by St. Benedict’s to snap the program’s 54-game winning streak. Nigel Williams-Goss, who hit the game-winning shot against No. 1 Montverde Academy, was the cornerstone of the team and finished his high school career with a 127-7 won-loss record.

4. (15) Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 26-1
It was evident coming into the season Lone Peak had a special team, but it turned into a once-in-a-lifetime type season for a small state program. Lone Peak played a national schedule and breezed to its third consecutive Class 5A crown. The only team coach Quincy Lewis’ club couldn’t handle was No. 1 Montverde Academy (66-45) in the final of the City of Palms Tournament. Guard Nick Emery and center Eric Mika drew All-America acclaim and junior guard T.J. Haws will be in line for similar honors next season. Before this team came around, the highest ever ranking for a Utah team was No. 12 by Provo for the 1997-98 season.

5. (3) Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 30-3
The Wolverines joined Peoria Manual as the second Illinois team to win four straight Class 4A state titles. They defeated No. 6 Whitney Young twice and split with Class 3A state champion and No. 19 Morgan Park. They also defeated No. 23 Oak Hill Academy. One of their losses was to FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy. Duke recruit Jabari Parker became the state’s first two-time Mr. Basketball. The 6-foot-8 four-year standout averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds a game and was twice the unofficial Mr. Basketball USA runner-up.

6. (18) Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 27-4
Young claimed its first City Public League title since 1998 with a 60-56 overtime win over No. 19 Morgan Park. Other Top 50 victims included Poly (Long Beach, Calif.), Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), Chester (Pa.) and Omaha Central (Omaha, Neb.). Young was 10-1 vs. out-of-state foes and won the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. National Junior of the Year and Mr. Basketball USA candidate Jahlil Okafor led the way. The 6-foot 11 center averaged 20.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and shot 69.8 percent from the floor.

7. (43) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 34-2
The Monarchs won the first-ever CIF Open Division title with a 50-45 victory over No. 30 Mitty. Mater Dei was also able to avenge its only in-state loss to No. 13 Etiwanda with a resounding 60-37 victory. Coming into the season, youth at the center position and lack of depth were areas of concern for coach Gary McKnight coming off back-to-back Division I state titles, but the improvement of junior Stanley Johnson and senior Elijah Brown was immense and the coaching staff received high praise for its work with this group. For the eighth time in the Gary McKnight era, Mater Dei is California’s No. 1 ranked team.

8. (28) Germantown (Germantown, Wis.) 28-0
The Warhawks repeated as Division 1 state champion while extending their win streak to 56 games and dominating their in-state schedule. Anchoring the team was 7-foot senior, and Indiana recruit, Luke Fischer. The state Mr. Basketball and second five All-American averaged 21 points and 9.4 rebounds a game. Running the offense was 6-2 junior point guard LaMonte Bearden, who averaged 13.1 points and 5.2 assists a game.

9. (NR) Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.) 30-0
The Trojans captured the 4A state championship with a 56-53 victory over Broughton of Raleigh to cap an unbeaten season. Only the lack of a key out-of-state win keeps Olympic from a higher rating. Olympic was able run the tables despite the transfer of top 100 recruit Allerik Freeman to Findlay Prep.

10. (NR) Romulus (Romulus, Mich.) 27-1
The Eagles captured their first Class A state crown in 27 years by winning their final 26 games after bowing to No. 15 Pershing. Romulus avenged the loss, 93-91, in the state quarterfinals. The Eagles were led by 6-foot-4 E.C. Matthews, a Rhode Island recruit, who averaged 17.2 points and 6.1 rebounds. Senior point guard Wes Clark and pivot Leo Edwards were other key players.

11. (40) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 29-3
It was quite a season for Grant Rice, as his Gaels captured their sixth state title in his 12 seasons as head coach. After losing 2012 Mr. Basketball USA Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA) to graduation, his younger brother Rashad (San Jose State commit) and sophomore Stephen Zimmerman led this young squad that played up to its potential. Gorman’s only losses were to No. 7 Mater Dei (76-60), No. 6 Whitney Young (76-67) and No. 3 Findlay Prep (65-45).

12. (44) Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) 27-2
Led by tourney MVP Dallas Cameron (American University), the Tigers captured their second straight Class 7A state title with a 58-50 win over Evans of Orlando. Ely won its fourth state title in program history. After a loss to No. 49 St. John Bosco at the Chick-Fil-A Classic, the Tigers won 17 consecutive games before losing in overtime to ineligible Prime Prep of Dallas in the opening round of the NHSI.

13. (NR) Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 28-4
The Eagles won the coveted CIF Southern Section Division I-AA title over No. 7 Mater Dei, but lost the rematch in the SoCal Open Division title game, 60-37. In the section semifinals, Etiwanda defeated No. 14 Long Beach Poly in overtime. Coach Dave Kleckner’s club was led by junior point guard Jordan McLaughin, the co-CIFSS Div. I-AA Player of the Year alongside Mater Dei’s Stanley Johnson.

14. (11) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 28-4
The Jackrabbits, who spent the season at No. 1 in California from the preseason until losing to No. 13 Etiwanda in their section semifinals, played at about the level predicted of them in the preseason. Poly didn’t have junior Kameron Chatman at its disposal, but with Gatorade State Player of the Year Roschon Prince and Oregon recruit Jordan Bell the Jackrabbits could play with just about anyone. They did struggle, however, against national level, interior-oriented teams such as No. 1 Montverde Academy (76-51) and No. 6 Whitney Young (85-52).

15. (NR) Pershing (Detroit, Mich.) 25-1
The Doughboys reeled off 25 victories before dropping their only game 93-91 to No. 10, and eventual champion, Romulus in the Class A state quarterfinals. Pershing had handed Romulus its lone loss, 83-76 in an early-season showdown. The Detroit Public School League champion was led by 5-foot-10 senior point guard Kahlil Felder. The Oakland recruit averaged 18 points a game. Another all-stater was 6-5 senior wing Martez Walker.

Here are the rest of the NSNS Top 50 teams with writeups of the California teams only:

16. (NR) Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 25-0
17. (12) Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas) 33-5
18. (19) Omaha Central (Omaha, Neb.) 26-4
19. (NR) Morgan Park (Chicago, Ill.) 33-3
20. (BB) Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 28-3
21. (33) Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa) 26-0
22. (29) La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) 26-6
23. (5) Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 33-6
24. (BB) Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 29-1
25. (NR) Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 26-2
26. (NR) Irmo (Columbia, S.C.) 29-0
27. (NR) North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 30-1
28. (NR) De La Salle (Minneapolis, Minn.) 30-1
29. (NR) South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas) 37-4

30. (32) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 28-6
The Monarchs played to about the level everyone expected of them in the preseason. With Mr. Basketball USA finalist Aaron Gordon in the lineup, Mitty was good enough to upset No. 39 Sheldon and represent NorCal in the first-ever CIF Open Division title game, but the Monarchs simply didn’t have the horses to compete with the top-tier national level teams such as No. 4 Lone Peak, which beat them 81-46.

31. (NR) Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.) 30-3
32. (7) Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 19-5
33. (NR) The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 33-4
34. (NR) Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) 30-4
35. (NR) Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 25-5
36. (6) St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) 28-2
37. (NR) Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) 25-3
38. (38) Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 26-2

39. (25) Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) 29-6
The Huskies, led by SDSU recruits Dakarai Allen and D’Erryl Williams and Washington commit Darin Johnson, defeated No. 40 Salesian in a much anticipated NorCal Open Division semifinal. That win avenged an earlier loss to The Pride and Sheldon also won the national division of the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic.

Mario Dunn was one of the top players for Richmond Salesian's nationally ranked squad. Photo: Harold Abend.

Mario Dunn was one of the top players for Richmond Salesian’s nationally ranked squad. Photo: Harold Abend.

40. (14) Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) 30-4
The Pride was ranked No. 1 in California going into its playoff showdown with Sheldon, but could not maintain their late six-point lead and eventually lost in overtime. That game probably should have taken place in the regional Open Division final, but nonetheless it was a quality season for a program that won the Division IV state title in 2011-12 with many of the same players on this year’s roster.

41. (4) Chester (Chester, Pa.) 28-4
42. (NR) Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) 30-3
43. (24) Rainier Beach (Seattle) 25-4
44. (NR) Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 35-1

45. (NR) Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) 29-4
SoCal small schools with talented players who formerly attended inner-city Los Angeles public schools now dominate California’s Division IV ranks. Led by a talented trio of guards, Pac Hills is the team that emerged from the loaded SoCal Div. IV regional and beat a scrappy Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa team in the state final, 58-52.

46. (NR) Wenonah (Birmingham, Ala.) 34-2

47. (NR) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) 32-2
The Knights were riding a 29-game winning streak and had a top 10 national rating before running into a hot La Verne Lutheran club in the CIFSS Div. IV-AA semifinals. We wouldn’t rank Bishop Montgomery, which lost to No. 45 Pac Hills in the SoCal Div. IV regional semifinals, quite that high because it was the only top level California team that didn’t play out-of-state competition.

48. (9) Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 34-6

49. (37) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 24-7
There was plenty of depth among West Coast teams this season and that’s evident in Bosco’s resume. The Braves showed what they were capable of with a victory over No. 12 Ely, but couldn’t get past No. 7 Mater Dei in SoCal’s tough Trinity League. Coach Derrick Taylor’s club lost on a buzzer beater to No. 14 Poly in the state tournament, but must remain behind No. 47 Bishop Montgomery because of a head-to-head loss.

50. (NR) Madison Central (Richmond, Ky.) 32-5

FINAL NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS SERVICE
2012-13 WEST REGION RANKINGS
(Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Note: To see final regional rankings from throughout the rest of the USA, CLICK HERE.

1. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 35-1
2. Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 26-1
3. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 34-2
4. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 29-3
5. Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 28-4
6. Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 28-4
7. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 28-6
8. Sheldon (Sacramento, Calif.) 29-6
9. Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) 30-4
10. Rainier Beach (Seattle) 25-4
11. Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) 29-4
12. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) 32-2
13. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 24-7
14. West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) 23-6
15. Lake Oswego (Lake Oswego, Ore.) 28-1
16. Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 29-5
17. Curtis (University Place, Wash.) 27-2
18. Desert Pines (Las Vegas, Nev.) 27-3
19. St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) 29-4
20. Westchester (Los Angeles) 29-7

2012-2013 HIGHSCHOOLHARDWOOD.COM
BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-AMERICAN TEAM

Mr. Basketball USA Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon highlight 50-player honor squad

The 2012-13 All-American elite team presented by HighSchoolHardwood.com includes 45 of the nation’s best seniors, led by Mr. Basketball USA Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.).

Seventeen seniors and three talented juniors, including National Junior of the Year Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young (Chicago), are among the top 20 selected players to the overall first team.

A 30-player second team , which includes two additional juniors, has been chosen.

This year’s HighSchoolHardwood.com All-American team does not include any sophomores. The class player of the year among tenth-graders is guard Malik Newman of Callaway (Jackson, Miss.). The National Freshman of the Year is Eron Gordon of North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.).

National coach of the year honors goes to Kurt Keener of Detroit Country Day (Birmingham, Mich.). After 35 years with the program, Keener is retiring from teaching and taking the basketball job at Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.). At DCD, Keener won nine state titles and coached the likes of 1991 Mr. Basketball USA Chris Webber and the Miami Heat’s Shane Battier.

Editor Ronnie Flores selected this performance-based squad with input from Mr. Basketball USA panelists.

First Five

G — Nigel Williams-Goss, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-3 Sr.
Emotional and floor leader of a team that went on a 54-game winning streak the past two seasons. Went from a player who raised eyebrows for his selection to last summer’s Under Armour Elite 24 to a bonafide Mr. Basketball USA Candidate as a senior. Averaged 18 points and seven assists per game for a 35-1 team.

F — Andrew Wiggins, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) 6-7 Sr.
This year’s Mr. Basketball USA recently chose the University of Kansas. The commit was a bit surprising, but the reaction and the “best prospect since LeBron James” talk were a bit over the top. Wiggins is the first foreign born Mr. Basketball USA since 1994 pick Felipe Lopez (Dominican Republic), who ironically is a player Wiggins compares favorably to.

F — Jabari Parker, Simeon (Chicago) 6-8 Sr.
Duke recruit was last season’s Gatorade National Player of the Year and our National Junior of the Year last season, but a lingering summer injury put him behind the eight ball all season in the Mr. Basketball USA race. Parker did finish his senior campaign strong, including a 29-point, 13-rebound performance in a sectional title game win over rival Whitney Young. He averaged 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists for a team that won its fourth consecutive Class 4A state title and went 118-15 in his four seasons.

F — Aaron Gordon, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 6-8 Sr.
Joined prep legends such as Bill Cartwright, John Williams and Jason Kidd as a two-time CalHiSports.com Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. This season, Gordon averaged 21.6 points and 15.6 rebounds for a 29-6 team that didn’t have another D1 recruit on it. Gordon finished his four-year prep career with two state titles and an appearance in the first ever Open Division state title game. In those three games, he averaged 24.3 points and 20.3 rebounds.

C — Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young (Chicago) 6-9 Jr.
Our National Junior of the Year, Okafor was in serious contention for Mr. Basketball USA honors until Whitney Young was routed by Jabari Parker and Simeon, 69-51, in a sectional final. In nearly every other game Okafor played in against tough competition, he dominated the paint. For the season, Okafor averaged 20.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks for the Chicago
Public League champions.

Second Five

G — Tyus Jones, Apple Valley (Minn.) 6-1 Jr.
G — Nick Emery, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 6-1 Sr.
G — Aaron Harrison, Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas) 6-4 Sr.
F — Rondae Jefferson, Chester (Chester, Pa.) 6-7 Sr.
C — Luke Fischer, Germantown (Germantown, Wisc.) 6-10 Sr.

Third Five

G — Kasey Hill, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-1 Sr.
G — Conner Frankamp, North (Wichita, Kan.) 6-1 Sr.

F — Jabari Bird, Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) 6-5 Sr.
It was a stellar season for Northern California basketball, as Mitty’s Aaron Gordon was a Mr. Basketball USA finalist, Antioch Deer Valley’s Marcus Lee was a McDonald’s All-American and two others received All-American acclaim, including Bird. As a junior, Bird led Salesian to the CIF Division IV state title and as a senior was named the state’s Division IV player of the year. The Cal-bound wing finished his prep career with 2,019 points.

F — Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-6 Jr.
The CalHiSports.com State Junior of the Year, Johnson was a close runner-up to first five selection Aaron Gordon for California state player of the year. He was named Division I state player of the year and will challenge Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones for national honors next season. Armed with an improved jumper, Johnson averaged 19.4 points and 8.7 rebounds for the CIF Open Division champs.

F — Noah Vonleh, New Hampton Prep (New Hampton, N.H.) 6-9 Sr.

Fourth Five

G — Tyler Ennis, St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) 6-3 Sr.
G — Stephen Clark, Douglass (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 5-10 Sr.
F — Nick King, East (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-7 Sr.
F — James Young, Rochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) 6-6 Sr.
F — Semi Ojeleye, Ottawa (Ottawa, Kan.) 6-7 Sr.

Second Team (30):

C — Akoy Agau, Central (Omaha, Neb.) 6-8 Sr.
G — Bryce Alford, La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) 6-3 Sr.
G — Dakarai Allen (Sheldon, Sacramento, Calif.) 6-5 Sr.
C — Cliff Alexander, Curie (Chicago) 6-9 Jr.
F — Brandon Austin, Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-6 Sr.
G — Anthony Barber, Hampton (Hampton, Va.) 6-2 Sr.
G — Joel Berry, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 6-1 Jr.
F — Rodney Bullock, Kecoughtan (Hampton, Va.) 6-8 Sr.
G — Aquille Carr, Princeton Day Academy (Bowie, Md.) 5-6 Sr.
C — Joel Embiid, The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.) 6-11 Sr.
G — Keith Frazier, Kimball (Dallas) 6-5 Sr.
G — Brannen Greene, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 6-6 Sr.
G — Isaac Hamilton, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 6-5 Sr.
F — Isaiah Hicks, Webb (Oxford, N.C.), 6-9 Sr.
G — Robert Hubbs, Dyer County (Newbern, Tenn.) 6-4 Sr.
F — Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) 6-7 Sr.
F — Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 6-6 Sr.
G — B.J. Johnson, Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.) 6-6 Sr.
C — Dakari Johnson, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-10 Sr.
G — JaJuan Johnson, Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-5 Sr.
G — Rysheed Jordan, Vaux (Philadelphia) 6-4 Sr.
G — Matt Jones, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas) 6-4 Sr.
G — Zach LaVine, Bothell (Bothell, Wash.) 6-3 Sr.
F — Jarell Martin, Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) 6-8 Sr.
C — Eric Mika, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 6-9 Sr.
F — Austin Nichols, Briarcrest (Eads, Tenn.) 6-8 Sr.
F — Bobby Portis, Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-9 Sr.
F — Roschon Prince, Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 6-6 Sr.
G — Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Columbia (Decatur, Ga.) 5-10 Sr.
C — Chris Walker, Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.) 6-9 Sr.

National Junior of the Year
Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young (Chicago) 6-9 C

This overpowering center was dominant against national competition and was named the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year over heralded senior Jabari Parker of Simeon. Okafor averaged 20.7 points and 8.8 rebounds for a team that finished No. 6 in the final Top 50 and won the tough Chicago Public League title. Last season, Parker was the runway choice for this honor, but this season point guard Tyus Jones of Minnesota and forward Stanley Johnson of California were given serious consideration. The last time players from the same state were chosen as the nation’s top eleventh-grader in back-to-back seasons was in 1999 and 2000. DeShawn Stevenson from Washington (Easton, Calif.) earned the honors in 1998-99, but the next season junior Tyson Chandler from Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) edged him for CalHiSports.com Mr. Basketball honors.

For more on the National Sophomore of the Year and National Freshman of the Year, CLICK HERE.

Note: All selections based on high school accomplishment and are reflective of players who led their teams to state championships. Fifth-year players and those ineligible for their respective high school team due to age or academics are not eligible.

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Mitty finished 30th in the final USA Boys Basketball Rankings and Mitty’s Aaron Gordon was chosen as a first-team […]

  2. […] In boys basketball, Archbishop Mitty ended up at #30 and Salesian at #40 in the National Sports News Service Top 50. […]

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