Ask any hoops aficionado who the best player on the planet is and you’ll undoubtedly hear the name Stephen Curry.
Point guard dominance has apparently had a domino effect, trickling down to the high school level.
On Wednesday, Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.) point guard Lonzo Ball and Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) point guard Crystal Dangerfield were named 2016 Morgan Wootten Players of the Year.
Ball and Dangerfield will be honored at a ceremony on March 29 in Chicago. The next day they’ll suit up for the McDonald’s All American Game at the United Center.
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“Lonzo and Crystal exemplify what it means to be driven and committed to achieving their goals in both academics and athletics,” said Wootten. “These players have already made a difference for their communities and teammates, and I’m confident they’ll continue making an impact on the game.”
Ball, a UCLA signee who is ranked No. 1 overall among point guards in the ESPN 100, recently led the Huskies to their first Southern Section Open Division crown after a 105-83 thrashing of Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.). Chino Hills (31-0) is the top ranked team in the USA Today Super 25.
“Words cannot express how honored I am to be chosen as the 2016 McDonald’s All American Games Player of the Year,” said Ball, who scored 20 points, snagged 17 rebounds and dished out 10 assists in the win over Sierra Canyon. “This honor is shared by so many people in my life. I have great coaches, I’ve played with great teammates, I have a family that believes in me, and I have fun playing basketball every day. There have been so many basketball successes along the way, but this one is definitely one of my greatest achievements.”
Dangerfield, a Connecticut signee who is ranked No. 1 among point guards in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100, has led Blackman to two Class AAA state championships and won two gold medals with USA Basketball.
“I’m glad to be a part of the McDonald’s All American Games,” Dangerfield said. “And to be associated with previous Player of the Year winners like Maya Moore and Ivory Latta who came before me.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY