|UCLA basketball signee Lonzo Ball|
MAR 11, 2016 | MEN'S BASKETBALL
By: UCLA Athletics
UCLA basketball signee Lonzo Ball has earned the 2016 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year and the 2016 Naismith High School Player of the Year awards as the nation’s top boy’s high school basketball player.
The Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award is distributed annually by the McDonald’s All-American Games, while the Naismith Trophy is presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Ball, a senior guard who plays for top-ranked Chino Hills High School, has averaged a triple-double this season (25.4 points, 12.9 assists and 11.5 rebounds per game). He has led his high school team to the school’s first-ever CIF Southern Section title. In addition, Chino Hills is entered in the Open Division bracket for the California state playoffs.
Ball will become the third Naismith Trophy winner to advance to UCLA, following in the footsteps of Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman High School in 2012) and Kevin Love (Lake Oswego High School in 2007). Likewise, both Muhammad and Love were named the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year during their respective senior seasons in high school.
The Naismith High School Player of the Year award was first presented in 1987. Other notable winners have included Jason Kidd in 1992, Kobe Bryant in 1996 and LeBron James in 2003.
Prior to the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Morgan Wooten Player of the Year award has been chosen from the field of McDonald’s All-Americans based on activity in the community, classroom and on the court.
Ball has been named as one of five first-team selections to the Naismith Trophy Boys’ High School All-America Team, along with Miles Bridges, De’Aaron Fox, Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum.
UCLA basketball signee T.J. Leaf, who has starred at Foothill Christian High School in El Cajon, Calif., has been named as one of five second-team selections to the Naismith All-America Team. Leaf joins Bam Adebayo, Markelle Fultz, Frank Jackson and Malik Monk on that list.
Leaf has averaged 28.5 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this year with Foothill Christian. He registered 36 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and six blocks in an 80-63 win over Cathedral Catholic in the San Diego Section championship game.
Both Ball and Leaf signed National Letters of Intent last November to enroll and play basketball at UCLA. They will begin their freshman seasons in Westwood in the fall of 2016.