ATLANTA (March 11, 2020) – Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the winners of the 2020 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy for Girls and Boys High School Player of the Year: seniors Paige Bueckers of Hopkins High School in Hopkins, Minnesota, and Cade Cunningham of Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. They will be honored in ceremonies at their respective high schools.
“Throughout the entire season it was clear that Paige and Cade were the most outstanding players in the nation and incredibly deserving to be selected as the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Players of the Year,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We are proud to have them join our list of student athletes who have won this honor and look forward to watching them play throughout their careers.”
Bueckers, a 5-foot-11 guard, has averaged 21.4 points and 9.4 assists per game this season with career totals of 1,998 points and 563 assists in 105 games. Her defensive stats are also impressive with 5.4 steals per game in the 2019-20 season and 405 steals in her career. She helped to lead Hopkins High School, ranked No. 4 nationally, to win the 6AAAA Minnesota Championship, which solidified a perfect 28-0 record for the Royals. Bueckers will become the ninth Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Girls Player of the Year winner to go on to play at the University of Connecticut and the third in the past four years to play with the Huskies.
“It means so much to me to win the Naismith Trophy, and it has been something I wanted to accomplish before I started my senior year,” said Bueckers. “For the Naismith organization to choose me out of all the amazing athletes across the country is such a blessing. A huge thanks to the Naismith Awards and everyone that contributed to the decision that ended up in choosing me.”
Cunningham was a member of the gold medal winning 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup team, which captured the gold medal on a perfect 7-0 mark in Heraklion, Greece. As a member of the starting five for all seven games, he averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. The 6-foot-7 senior guard helped lead Montverde Academy to an undefeated season, and he becomes the third winner of the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy from Montverde, joining Ben Simmons (2015) and R.J. Barrett (2018). Cunningham will continue his basketball career at the college level when he attends Oklahoma State University next year.
“The Naismith Trophy has always been considered one of the most prestigious awards for a high school athlete. It is an honor and privilege to accept this year’s award,” said Cunningham. “I would like to start by thanking God first and foremost because without God none of this would have been possible. I would like to thank my family for their constant support, love and guidance as well as keeping me humble and level-headed, my school Montverde, Coach Boyle, Coach Miller and all of my other coaches throughout my life for pushing me to be the best I can be, my AAU and high school teammates for always having my back and pushing me to get better, and lastly, I’d like to thank my city Arlington for the continued support throughout the years.”
The Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy for Player of the Year was first presented in 1987, and the winners are selected by a group of basketball journalists from around the country who form the Naismith Awards national high school voting academy. The selections were based on outstanding performances during the 2019-20 high school basketball season.
“On behalf of Jersey Mike’s and our growing list of franchise owners across the country, we congratulate Paige and Cade on being selected as the recipients of this year’s Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy,” said Rich Hope, chief marketing officer, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “Each had a phenomenal season and should be proud of their accomplishments and this recognition.”
Each winner will be awarded with the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy, produced and provided by Herff Jones, leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students. A replica trophy will be donated by Herff Jones to the players’ high schools. Notable boys 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 girls winners have included Lisa Leslie (1990, Morningside High School, Inglewood, California), Chamique Holdsclaw (1995, Christ the King, Middle Village, New York), Candace Parker (2003, Naperville Central, Naperville, Illinois) and Maya Moore (2006 and 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, 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 Citizen 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 Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.
ABOUT JERSEY MIKE’S SUBS
Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 2,000 locations open and under development nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. Voted America’s Favorite Sandwich Brand in Market Force Information’s 2019 QSR study, Jersey Mike’s offers A Sub Above®, serving authentic fresh sliced subs on freshly baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956 – and is passionate about giving back to its local communities. For more information, please visit www.jerseymikes.com or follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/jerseymikes), Instagram (instagram.com/jerseymikes) and Twitter (twitter.com/jerseymikes).
Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club