ATLANTA (March 4, 2022) – Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club awarded the 2022 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy for Boys Player of the Year to Dariq Whitehead, a senior at Montverde Academy in Montverde, FL. Whitehead becomes the fourth Montverde player to win the award joining Ben Simmons, R.J. Barrett and Cade Cunningham. Kiki Rice of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, is the 2022 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy for Girls Player of the Year.

“In a highly competitive and thrilling basketball season, Kiki and Dariq were the most outstanding players in the nation and incredibly deserving to be honored with the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy as Players of the Year,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “They both have proven to be exceptional basketball players, and we wish them well as they continue their careers at the next level.”

This season Whitehead averaged 17.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.6 SPG and 0.2 BPG. The Duke commit was also named as one of 57 finalists for the Sports Illustrated All-American team, a 2022 McDonald’s All-American, ranked No. 4 on ESPN’s top 100 list and Rivals No. 1 player of 2022.

“I am humbled and honored to become the fourth Montverde Academy player in the last eight years to receive the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Award,” said Whitehead. “I want to thank Coach Boyle and the rest of my coaches along with my teammates, as well as Dr. Kasey Kesselring and the rest of the Montverde Academy community for helping to make this happen.”

Rice, a 5-foot-11 guard, has averaged 16 PPG, 5.2 APG, 7.6 RPG and 2.8 SPG this season. She made Sidwell Friends basketball history by becoming the school’s first McDonald’s All-American. The UCLA commit was the No. 2-ranked player in espnW 100’s class of 2022 and the No. 1-ranked point guard for the class of 2022.

“This is a dream come true,” said Rice. “I am so honored to be recognized with the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy by the selection committee from a group of finalists that I personally know to be outstanding players. I am thankful for my family, teammates and coaches, because I know without doubt that without them this would not have been possible.”

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 2021-22 high school basketball season.

“On behalf of Jersey Mike’s and our franchise owners throughout the country, we congratulate Kiki and Dariq for being selected as the winners of this year’s Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy,” said Rich Hope, chief marketing officer of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “Their commitment to excellence was on full display this season and their schools and local communities should be very proud.”

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. Past 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).

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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

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