Video: MaxPreps National Player of the YearHighlighting 2017-18 POY R.J. Barrett of Montverde Academy.
The hopes of an entire basketball nation are riding on the young shoulders of basketball phenom R.J. Barrett
of Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
He's carrying the weight quite well.
A native of Canada, Barrett's senior season was the stuff of legends. The 6-foot-7 wing averaged 28.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, leading Montverde Academy to a 35-0 record and national championship.
For his efforts, Barrett has been named the MaxPreps 2017-18 National Player of the Year
. He is the second Montverde product to earn the honor in the last four seasons, joining current Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Barrett solidified his POY status last week at GEICO Nationals last week, averaging 26.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists over three games in New York. He put up 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the final, a blowout win over Florida Class 5A state champion University (Fort Lauderdale).
Regarded as the top prospect in the Class of 2018 by
, Barrett has earned a reputation for late-game heroics. He came up with a clutch steal in the final minute against Simeon (Chicago) to secure a 62-60 win in January at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
In Montverde's final weekend of the regular season, the future Duke Blue Devil scored six points in the final 24.1 seconds to help the Eagles beat New Jersey state champion Roselle Catholic 60-59.
Over the summer at the FIBA U19 World Cup, Barrett was named MVP after leading Canada to the gold medal. That run included a win over a John Calipari-led USA squad in the semifinals where he tallied 38 points and 13 rebounds.
Barrett ends his Montverde Academy career with an 86-7 record, playing just three seasons for head coach Kevin Boyle after reclassifying over the summer (he was the MaxPreps National Sophomore
of the Year for the 2016-17 season). He will join a star-studded recruiting class at Duke next fall that includes fellow top prospects Zion Williamson
, Cameron Reddish
and Tre Jones
Past MaxPreps National Players of the Year
2017 – Michael Porter Jr., Nathan Hale (Seattle, Wash.)
2016 – Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills (Calif.)
2015 – Ben Simmons, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
2014 – Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2013 – Jabari Parker, Simeon (Chicago)
2012 – Kyle Anderson, St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
2011 – Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.)
2010 – Harrison Barnes, Ames (Iowa)
2009 – Derrick Favors, South Atlanta (Atlanta)
2008 – Brandon Jennings, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
2007 – Kevin Love, Lake Oswego (Ore.)
2006 – Greg Oden, Lawrence North (Indianapolis)