Duke basketball commit R.J. Barrett is adding a piece of hardware to his trophy case before he begins his college career.
On Friday, it was announced that the Montverde Academy small forward, who helped his team reach a 31-0 record and was part of Team Canada’s 2017 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup gold medal-winning team, has been named the High School Naismith Player of the Year.
A release from the Atlanta Tipoff Club read:
“It is an honour to receive the Naismith Player of the Year award,” said Barrett. “I want to thank God, my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the Montverde community, as well as all the people who voted for me.”
This marks the third time ever that the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year have come from the same school. Previously, Satch Sullinger (COY) and Jared Sullinger (POY) from Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio won in 2010 while in 2016 Steve Baik (COY) and Lonzo Ball (POY) took home the awards to Chino Hill High School in Chino Hills, California.
Barrett is also ranked the No. 1 player in boys’ high school basketball and is the second player from Montverde Academy to win the Player of the Year title in the past four seasons (Ben Simmons, 2015). Barrett’s team is 31-0 and hopes to continue its streak at the High School Basketball National Tournament in New York City later this month. He will be the third high school award winner to go on to play collegiately at Duke University, tying UCLA and Georgia Tech, following Shane Battier (Detroit Country Day, Beverly Hills, Michigan) in 1997 and Austin Rivers (Winter Park High School, Orlando, Florida) in 2011.
Barrett, a five-star recruit, is the No. 1 overall prospect.
He chose the Blue Devils over offers from Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Miami, UCLA, Oregon, and others.