Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Jrue Holiday California player named nation's top high school performer



    LOS ANGELES, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In its third decade of honoring
 the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in
 partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced senior combo guard Jrue
 Holiday of Campbell Hall (North Hollywood, Calif.) as its 2007-08 Gatorade
 National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
 
     The award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high
 standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on
 and off the court, distinguishes Holiday as the nation's best high school
 boys basketball player. A national advisory board comprised of
 sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped
 select Holiday from the more than 556,000 high school boys basketball
 players nationwide. Holiday is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade
 Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special
 afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
 
     The state's returning Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year,
 Holiday averaged 25.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 4.4 steals and
 2.4 blocks per game on the season, leading the Vikings (31-5) to their
 second straight California Interscholastic Federation Division IV state
 title and the program's third in four years. He is only the second player
 in Los Angeles-area history to surpass 2,600 career points, finishing with
 2,666 (trailing Mitchell Butler, who netted 2,682 points for Oakwood of
 North Hollywood from 1986-1989). He ranks as the state's 14th all-time
 leading scorer, according to CalHighSports.com.
 
     A McDonald's All-American Game and Jordan Brand All-American Team
 selection, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior submitted a dominating
 performance against San Joaquin Memorial in the Southern California
 Regional Division IV title game, where he scored 22 points on 10-of-15
 shooting, and collected 11 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals in a
 76-45 victory. Holiday scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the
 83-61 state championship victory against Saint Mary's. He led Campbell Hall
 to an incredible 126-8 record in his four-year varsity career.
 
     Holiday has maintained a B-average in the classroom. A member of the
 school's Gospel Choir and the percussion section leader in Campbell Hall's
 orchestra, he also teaches basketball fundamentals to youth players in
 association with the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer charity
 and raises funds to benefit cancer research through the Concern Foundation.
 Holiday has also traveled to Japan as a youth ambassador on behalf of the
 Shepherd of the Hills Christian Church, in addition to donating his time at
 Campbell Hall as a tour guide on Perspective Student Days and as team
 manager for the varsity girls' tennis squad.
 
     "In my opinion, the most talented overall player among the elite
 players in the country is Holiday," said USA Basketball Junior Development
 Committee Chair Don Showalter. "I love the kid. I think he's a great
 teammate. He makes everybody else better. He's very coachable, he reacts so
 well to feedback, and his teammates just absolutely love him, and that's an
 important thing to note when you're talking about this level of talent."
 
     Holiday has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at
 UCLA this fall. He joins 2008 Pac-10 Freshman and Player of the Year Kevin
 Love (2006-07, Lake Oswego High School/Lake Oswego, OR) and two-time NBA
 All-Star Baron Davis (1996-97, Crossroads High School/Santa Monica, CA) as
 UCLA recruits to be named Gatorade National Boys Basketball Players of the
 Year. Recent Gatorade National Boys Basketball Players of the Year include
 two-time winner Greg Oden (2004-05 & 2005-06, Lawrence North
 HS/Indianapolis, IN), Dwight Howard (2003-04, Southwest Atlanta Christian
 Academy/Atlanta, GA) and two-time winner LeBron James (2001-02 & 2002-03,
 St. Vincent-St. Mary High School/Akron, OH).
 
     "Without question, Jrue is deserving of recognition as the nation's
 best high school boys basketball player based on his statistics on the
 court and the impact his play had on Campbell Hall's success," said
 Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. "But he is
 also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader
 and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a
 Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."
 
     The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner
 in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high
 school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and
 girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and
 girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each
 sport. The selection process is administered by RISE Magazine, which works
 with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished,
 veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each
 sport.
 
 
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include: -- NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith -- 2007 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning -- WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie -- Reigning 200-meter world champion Allyson Felix -- Two-time American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez -- Softball gold medalist Cat Osterman -- Beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit http://gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOREES Year Name High School Status 2007-08 Jrue Holiday Campbell Hall/North Hollywood, CA High School Senior 2006-07 Kevin Love Lake Oswego/Lake Oswego, OR UCLA 2005-06 Greg Oden Lawrence North/Indianapolis, IN Portland Trail Blazers 2004-05 Greg Oden Lawrence North/Indianapolis, IN Portland Trail Blazers 2003-04 Dwight Howard SW Atlanta Christian Academy/ Orlando Magic Atlanta, GA 2002-03 LeBron James St. Vincent-St. Mary/Akron, OH Cleveland Cavaliers 2001-02 LeBron James St. Vincent-St. Mary/Akron, OH Cleveland Cavaliers 2000-01 Kelvin Torbert Northwestern Edison/Flint, MI Michigan State U. Grad. 1999-00 Jared Jeffries North/Bloomington, IN New York Knicks 1998-99 LaVell Pioneer/Ann Arbor, MI U. of Blanchard Michigan Grad. 1997-98 Al Harrington St. Patrick/Elizabeth, NJ Golden State Warriors 1996-97 Baron Davis Crossroads/Santa Monica, CA Golden State Warriors 1995-96 Kobe Bryant Lower Merion/Ardmore, PA Los Angeles Lakers 1994-95 Stephon Marbury Abraham Lincoln/Brooklyn, NY New York Knicks 1993-94 Felipe Lopez Rice/New York, NY Retired from NBA 1992-93 Randy Isidore Newman School/ Idaho Livingston New Orleans, LA Stampede 1991-92 Corliss Russellville/Russellville, AR Sacramento Williamson Kings 1990-91 Chris Webber Detroit County Day/Birmingham, MI Detroit Pistons 1989-90 Damon Bailey Bedford North Lawrence/ Retired from Bedford, IN NBA 1988-89 Kenny Anderson Archbishop Molloy/Jamaica, NY Retired from NBA 1987-88 Alonzo Mourning Indian River/Chesapeake, VA Miami Heat 1986-87 LaBradford Bay City/Bay City, TX Retired from Smith NBA 1985-86 J.R. Reid Kempsville/Virginia Beach, VA Retired from NBA

SOURCE Gatorade

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