Dec. 18, 2008
ATLANTA, Ga. - University of Washington men's basketball signee Abdul Gaddy is one of 10 prep players nationwide who were named to the 2008-09 Naismith Trophy Boy's High School Player of the Year early season watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
The watch list was comprised by leading basketball journalists from around the country who form the national voting academy, and identify players under consideration for this award.
Gaddy, who last month signed a national letter of intent to attend Washington in the fall and play for Coach Lorenzo Romar, is generally considered one of the top high school guards in the nation. The 6'-3" Tacoma, Wash. native plays for Coach Bernie Salazar at Bellarmine Prep.
The year's Washington signing class is comprised of Gaddy, Charles Garcia, a 6-9 junior college forward from Los Angeles, Clarence Trent, a 6-7 forward from Gig Harbor, Wash. and C.J. Wilcox, a 6-5 guard from Pleasant Grove, Utah.
In February, the voting academy will narrow the list down to five candidates, with the winner being selected and recognized by the Atlanta Tipoff Club at the end of the high school basketball season.
"As the game of basketball extends its reach and players hone their skills earlier in life, the talent level and competition in high schools is at an all-time high ," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "We look forward to seeing how this season plays out and which player emerges as our 2009 Naismith Trophy winner."
"Simply making the list for the Naismith Trophy is an honor in itself and being surrounded by the kind of elite caliber talent that's on this year's ballot is extraordinary," said Dave Telep, National Recruiting Director for Scout.com. "The competition to win this award is wide open and no matter who prevails, know that the very BEST in high school basketball are in contention for one of the high school game's highest honors."
The Naismith High School Player of the Year award was first presented in 1987 to Dennis Scott of Flint Hill Prep (Oakton, Va.), who later starred at Georgia Tech and with the Orlando Magic of the NBA. Other notable winners include Jason Kidd (1992, St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda, Cal.), Kobe Bryant (1996, Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, Pa.), LeBron James (2003, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Akron, Ohio) and last year's winner, Brandon Jennings (Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.). The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the top prep basketball player of the year. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
About the Atlanta Tipoff Club
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded in 1956, has presented the Naismith Trophy since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. The Naismith Award has become an emblem of excellence for the game, recognizing the outstanding achievements of men and women players, coaches, officials and overall contribution to the game.