R.J. BARRETT NAMED 2018 NAISMITH HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR
TORONTO, ON. (March 9, 2018) - After leading Montverde Academy (Florida) to a historic undefeated regular season (31-0), Canadian small forward R.J. Barrett has been named the 2018 Naismith High School Boys' Player of the Year.
Barrett becomes just the second Canadian to win the prestigious award and first since Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins captured the honour following his 2013 season at Huntington Prep.
This season Barrett led Montverde to several tournament titles, including the IYBS Invitational (Beijing, China), Iolani Classic (Honolulu, Hawaii), Beach Ball Classic (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina), Hoophall Classic (Springfield, Massachusetts) and Metro Classic (Union, New Jersey). At the previously mentioned tournaments, the top ranked senior also earned MVP honours.
Last summer, Barrett and Team Canada captured a historic gold medal at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017. The Mississauga, ON native earned the MVP Award offered by Tissot after leading Canada to a 79-60 victory over Italy in the finals for the country's first-ever gold medal in a FIBA world championship or Olympic event. Barrett was the tournament's leading scorer with 21.6 points to go along with 8.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.7 steals.
Following their momentous performance, the team was voted The Canadian Press Team of the Year for 2017, becoming the first basketball team to win the award in its 51-year history.
Last November, the ESPN No. 1 recruit committed to join Duke University next season.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian and the creator of the game of basketball, the first Naismith trophy was awarded in 1969 to UCLA's Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The Naismith High School Player of the Year award was first presented in 1987. 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).