Video: MaxPreps National Player of the Year – Lonzo BallFuture UCLA Bruin goes out on top with unbeaten season, national title and POY award.
For the first time, the MaxPreps National Player of the Year honor goes to someone that didn't lead his team in scoring.
That’s fitting for 2015-16 POY Lonzo Ball
and his Chino Hills (Calif.)
Huskies, who defied conventional wisdom and left critics backpedaling while going 35-0 this season – winning section, state and national titles.
Lonzo, who joined brothers LiAngelo Ball
and LaMelo Ball
in the Chino Hills starting lineup, has been nitpicked since arriving on the scene as a promising yet slightly unorthodox 6-foot-5 freshman point guard.
Now an inch or two taller and headed to UCLA next fall, Ball has heard it all over the last four years:Inconsistent outside shot with an odd wind-up.
Product of a gimmicky system.
Ducked big time competition on the summer circuit.
In hindsight, it all seems pretty laughable.
Since a major coming out party last July at the adidas Summer Championships, Lonzo and the Ball boys have notched tournament wins at the Ron Massey Memorial Fall Hoops Classic, City of Palms Classic and MaxPreps Holiday Classic along with section and state titles in California.
As the lone senior on the Chino Hills roster, Lonzo averaged 23.4 points, 9.3 assists, 9.2 rebounds and 4.7 steals this season. He was the catalyst for the one of the most explosive offensive teams in high school basketball history.
Some – like our own Kevin Askeland
– will argue that the Huskies are also one of the greatest teams in high school basketball history.
For the first time in his high school career, Lonzo was surrounded by a cast capable of letting him play to his strengths.
With LiAngelo pumping in a team-high 27.4 points per game and LaMelo (16.4 points per game) and Elizjah Scott
(15.9) also developing into weapons, Lonzo was able to orchestrate.
It was a beautiful symphony, producing 98.4 points per game and a state record 18 100-point games. All eight playoff wins came by margins of 20 or more.
Ball is the second Southern California player to earn MaxPreps POY honors in the last three years, joining 2013-14 winner Stanley Johnson
of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
.Jerry Meyer of 247Sports
has Ball pegged as the No. 4 overall prospect in the 2016 class. Past MaxPreps National Players of the Year
2015 – Ben Simmons
, Montverde Academy (Fla.)
2014 – Stanley Johnson
, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2013 – Jabari Parker
, Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)
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, Ga.)
2008 – Brandon Jennings
, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
2007 – Kevin Love
, Lake Oswego (Ore.)
2006 – Greg Oden
, Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)