LONZO BALL AND JACKIE YOUNG NAMED 2016 WINNERS OF THE NAISMITH NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL TROPHY PRESENTED BY HILTON WORLDWIDE ATLANTA
(March 10, 2016) – Lonzo Ball, senior guard for the top-ranked team in the country, Chino Hills High School (Calif.), and senior guard Jackie Young of Princeton Community High School (Ind.), have been named winners of the 2016 Naismith Trophy presented by Hilton Worldwide, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Ball is averaging a triple-double this season with 25.4 points, 12.9 assists and 11.5 rebounds per game. His exceptional play led the Huskies to the team’s first Southern Section championship, and they have advanced to the Open Division bracket of the CIF state playoffs. Ball is now the third high school award winner to go on to play collegiately at UCLA, following Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman High School, Las Vegas) in 2012 and Kevin Love (Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego, Oregon) in 2007.
Young graduates from Princeton Community High as the all-time leading scorer (3,268 points) of either gender in the state of Indiana. The accomplishment garnered her recognition from the Indiana General Assembly. From November 2014 to February 2016 she led the Lady Tigers to 53 consecutive wins. Young is the team leader in field goal percentage, rebounds, free throw percentage, assists and steals. She will go on to play collegiately at the University of Notre Dame, following another Naismith Trophy winner who hailed from Indiana, Skylar Diggins (Washington High School, South Bend) who won the award in 2009 and went on to play for the Irish.
The winners were selected by basketball journalists from around the country who form the Naismith Awards national high school board of selectors. The ballots were based on outstanding player performances during the 2015-16 high school basketball season.
“Lonzo and Jackie both exemplify what we look for in a Naismith Trophy recipient,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Their performances on the court stood out amongst their peers, and they provide strong leadership that helps build up both their teammates and their classmates. They are both well-deserving of this honor.”
“Lonzo has truly earned this award by his unbelievable work ethic which has prepared him to display his gifts and talents at the highest levels”, said Chino Hills coach Steve Baik, who was named the 2016 Naismith High School Boys Coach of the Year. “Our schedule this season was one of the toughest and most challenging featuring the nation’s top players and teams. He was simply amazing proving himself to be one of the best players in the nation and also leading his team to victories all season. Lonzo’s leadership by example and unselfishness on and off the court are what set him apart. On the court he focuses on the team goals above his own. Off the court he takes care of his family, teammates and community. He is truly an amazing talent on the court as he has helped us accomplish more than we could ever dream of. However, I’m more proud of the young man that he has become! I’m so excited to see the amazing things he will accomplish in the future!”
“Jackie literally has the ability to take over a game like no other player I have ever seen, but she doesn’t want to do that. She wants to get her teammates involved. She is the most unselfish big time player I have seen in 35 years of coaching varsity girls basketball,” said Charles Mair, Princeton Community High School varsity girls basketball coach. “When the game is on the line she has a third gear, it is Jackie time, game over.”
The Naismith High School Player of the Year award was first presented in 1987. Notable Boy’s winners have included Jason Kidd (1992, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda, California), Kobe Bryant (1996, Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, Pennsylvania), LeBron James (2003, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Akron, Ohio) and Derrick Favors (2009, South Atlanta High School, Atlanta). Notable Girl’s winners have included Lisa Leslie (1990, Morningside High School, Inglewood, California), Chamique Holdsclaw (1995, Christ the King, Middle Village, N.Y.), Candace Parker (2003, Naperville Central, Naperville, Illinois) and Maya Moore (2006 & 2007, Collins Hill High School, Suwanee, Georgia).
For more information, visit www.naismithtrophy.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coaches of the Year, Boy’s and Girl’s high school basketball players and coaches of the year, basketball officials and overall contributors to the game. The Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.
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