Top Five Players and Five Coaches Vying for the National Honor

ATLANTA (February 18, 2021) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club today announced the five finalists competing for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy for Boys Player of the Year and the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Boys Coach of the Year. Three of the five finalists for the Boys Player of the Year honor have committed to play college basketball, with the remaining two finalists considering various offers. The Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Boys Coach of the Year winner will be announced on March 9, and the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy will be awarded to the top boys player the following day on March 10.

“While the pandemic has presented some challenges this season, it doesn’t minimize the talented players and coaches who’ve endured ups and downs to have tremendous seasons,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Our voters have come up with two solid sets of finalists, and now we focus our energy on reaching the finish line and honoring the top performers for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy and Coach of the Year.”

“Jersey Mike’s salutes the top five candidates for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Boys Trophy. We are proud to be associated with these incredibly talented high school basketball players,” said Rich Hope, chief marketing officer, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “We also congratulate the five coaches nominated for National High School Boys Coach of the Year for their extraordinary dedication.”

2021 Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Trophy Boys Player of the Year Finalists

First NameLast NameClassPositionHigh SchoolCity, StateCommitted to
PaoloBancheroSr.FO'Dea High SchoolSeattle, WADuke
EmoniBatesJr.FYpsi Prep AcademyYpsilanti, MIMichigan State
JadenHardySr.GCoronado High SchoolHenderson, NV-
ChetHolmgrenSr.CMinnehaha AcademyMinneapolis, MN-
JabariSmith Jr.Sr.FSandy Creek High SchoolTyrone, GAAuburn

2021 Jersey Mike's Naismith High School Boys Coach of the Year Finalists

First NameLast NameHigh SchoolCity, State
LukeBarnwellSunrise Christian AcademyBel Aire, KS
KevinBoyleMontverde AcademyMontverde, FL
EdGipsonAZ Compass Prep SchoolChandler, AZ
ChrisJohnsonHomestead High SchoolFt. Wayne, IN
SeanMcAloonIMG AcademyBradenton, FL


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, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


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Media Contact:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

[email protected]