New Jersey has 6 players in mix for Naismith Boys' Player of the Year, Duke has 5 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / May 19.
  • New Jersey has 6 players in mix for Naismith Boys’ Player of the Year, Duke has 5

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    New Jersey has six players on the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year watch list, while Duke has five.

    The Jersey Boys are Kentucky commits DJ Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw of Camden, Duke pledge Mackenzie Mgbako of Roselle Catholic, UNC commit Simeon Wilcher of Roselle Catholic and uncommitted 2024 prospects Dylan Harper of Don Bosco and Elliot Cadeau of Link Academy.

    Duke leads all schools with five candidates committed to playing for them next season: Mgbako, Caleb Foster, Jared McCain, T.J. Power and Sean Stewart. Sophomores Cooper Flagg and Koa Peat are the only underclassman candidates on this year’s watch list.

    Montverde Academy, with four winners in the last seven years, and Sunrise Christian Academy, account for a total of eight players on the watch list.  Montverde boasts former winners Ben Simmons (2015), R.J. Barrett (2018), Cade Cunningham (2020) and Dariq Whitehead (2022) and has four candidates this season.  

    “We are off and running in what should be an exciting and competitive season of high school basketball,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “There are so many talented candidates who could win the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, and that will play itself out over the next several months.”

    “The players on this list represent the future of basketball,” said Jeff Hemschoot, vice president of marketing, Jersey Mike’s. “We look forward to following these young men as they compete throughout the season.”

    The five finalists will be announced in February and the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy Boys winner will awarded in March 2023.

    The full list is below:

    Flory BidungaJuniorCKokomo, INKokomo High School
    Omaha BiliewSeniorPFWaukee, IAWaukee High SchoolIowa State
    Layden BlockerSeniorPGLittle Rock, ARSunrise Christian AcademyArkansas
    Xavier BookerSeniorCIndianapolis, INCathedral High SchoolMichigan State
    Aaron BradshawSeniorCCamden, NJCamden High SchoolKentucky
    Matas BuzelisSeniorSFHinsdale, ILSunrise Christian Academy
    Elliot CadeauJuniorPGWest Orange, NJLink Academy
    Coen CarrSeniorSFHampton, GALegacy Early College High SchoolMichigan State
    Stephon CastleSeniorPGCovington, GANewton High SchoolUCONN
    Isaiah CollierSeniorPGMarietta, GAWheeler High School
    Mookie CookSeniorSFPortland, ORAZ Compass PrepOregon
    Freddie DilioneSeniorSGFayetteville, NCWord of God Christian AcademyTennessee
    Justin EdwardsSeniorSFPhiladelphia, PAImhotep Institute Charter High SchoolKentucky
    Dennis EvansSeniorCRiverside, CAHillcrest High SchoolMinnesota
    Kwame “KJ” Evans Jr.SeniorPFBaltimore, MDMontverde AcademyOregon
    Baye FallSeniorCDenver, COAccelerated SchoolsArkansas
    Jeremy FearsSeniorPGJoliet, ILJoliet West High SchoolMichigan State
    Cooper FlaggSophomoreSFNewport, MEMontverde Academy
    Caleb FosterSeniorPGSherman Oaks, CANotre Dame High SchoolDuke
    Brandon GarrisonSeniorCDel City, OKDel City High SchoolOklahoma State
    Rayvon GriffithSeniorSFCincinnati, OHAZ Compass PrepCincinnati
    Amani HansberrySeniorCBaltimore, MDMount St. Joseph High SchoolIllinois
    Dylan HarperJuniorSGRamsey, NJDon Bosco High School
    DeShawn Harris-SmithSeniorSFFairfax, VAPaul VI High SchoolMaryland
    Ron HollandSeniorPFDuncanville, TXDuncanville High SchoolTexas
    Aden HollowaySeniorPGCharlotte, NCProlific PrepAuburn
    Elmarko JacksonSeniorSGSouth Kent, CTSouth Kent SchoolKansas
    Ian JacksonJuniorSFBronx, NYCardinal Hayes High School
    Bronny JamesSeniorPGLos Angeles, CASierra Canyon High School
    Tre JohnsonJuniorSGDallas, TXLake Highlands High School
    A.J. JohnsonSeniorPGWoodland Hills, CASouthern California Academy
    Chris JohnsonSeniorSGMissouri City, TXMontverde AcademyKansas
    Miro LittleSeniorPGFinlandSunrise Christian AcademyBaylor
    Jared McCainSeniorSGCorona, CACentennial High SchoolDuke
    Mackenzie MgbakoSeniorPFNewark, NJRoselle Catholic High SchoolDuke
    Scotty MiddletonSeniorSFMiami, FLSunrise Christian AcademyOhio State
    Milan MomcilovicSeniorPFPewaukee, WIPewaukee High SchoolIowa State
    Koa PeatSophomorePFGilbert, AZPerry High School
    T.J. PowerSeniorPFShrewsbury, MAWorcester AcademyDuke
    Reed SheppardSeniorSGLondon, KYNorth Laurel High SchoolKentucky
    Sean StewartSeniorPFWindermere, FLMontverde AcademyDuke
    Andrej StojakovicSeniorSFCarmichael, CAJesuit High SchoolStanford
    Dusty StromerSeniorSFSherman Oaks, CANotre Dame High SchoolGonzaga
    Bryson TuckerJuniorSFBaltimore, MDIMG Academy
    D.J. WagnerSeniorPGCamden, NJCamden High School
    Ja’Kobe WalterSeniorSGMcKinney, TXLink AcademyBaylor
    Simeon WilcherSeniorPGPlainfield, NJRoselle Catholic High SchoolNorth Carolina
    Mikey WilliamsSeniorSGSan Ysidro, CASan Ysidro High SchoolMemphis
    Cody WilliamsSeniorSFGilbert, AZPerry High SchoolColorado
    Wesley YatesSeniorSGBeaumont, TXBeaumont United High SchoolWashington
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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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