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The Crown Prince

Dominguez Standout Prince Waited Two Years to Rise to the Top of His Class


Tayshaun Prince took a recruiting trip to Kentucky last October, just in time for the Wildcats' midnight madness practice--the team's first step toward the 1998 national championship.

"There were people standing at the door, waiting to get in, four hours before it started," Prince said in January. "They were acting like it was the NCAA championship game. I was like, 'Wow.' "

Prince, a 6-foot-8 senior at Compton Dominguez, signed with Kentucky and is looking forward to his first midnight madness practice as a Wildcat in the fall.

But there is still some activity at the high school level to attend to.

On Sunday morning--at one of five breakfasts honoring The Times' All-Area selections--Prince will receive The Times' George Yardley Award, presented annually to the top boys' basketball player in Southern California.

On Sunday night, he will play in the Eddie Jones All-Star Classic at the Great Western Forum. The game, which matches a team of West Coast players against players from the rest of the country, features several prep All-Americans, among them Korleone Young of Virginia's Hargrave Military Academy, who has made himself available for the NBA draft.

Prince, who played in the shadow of Dominguez standouts Kenny Brunner and Jason Thomas as a sophomore and junior, averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds this season. He was selected to the McDonald's and Parade All-American teams.

Among Prince's season highlights was a 24-point performance in the Dons' 71-62 victory over eventual Division I state champion Westchester in the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Challenge at Pauley Pavilion in January.

He also led Dominguez to its fourth consecutive Southern Section Division II-A title. Prince scored 22 points in an 80-69 championship-game victory over Redondo Union, but missed most of the fourth quarter after suffering a knee injury.

Unfortunately for Prince--and two-time defending Division II state champion Dominguez--the knee remained sore the following week. Prince played sparingly and was scoreless in his final game for the Dons, a 67-54 loss to Compton in the semifinals of the Southern California regional of the state tournament.


Boys' Player of Year


1998--Tayshaun Prince, Compton Dominguez

1997--Baron Davis, Santa Monica Crossroads

1996--Corey Benjamin, Fontana

1995--Paul Pierce, Inglewood

1994--Jelani Gardner, Bellflower St. John Bosco

1993--Jacque Vaughn, Pasadena Muir

1992--Charles O'Bannon, Lakewood Artesia

1991--Cherokee Parks, Huntington Beach Marina

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