Holiday, Dixon get top honors

March 19, 2008|Eric Sondheimer and Martin Henderson | From Times Staff Reports

Jrue Holiday, a 6-foot-4 senior guard at North Hollywood Campbell Hall, has been selected the Gatorade national boys' basketball player of the year and Jasmine Dixon, a 5-10 guard-forward at Long Beach Poly, was recently selected Gatorade's state girls' basketball player of the year.

Holiday averaged 25.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists for Campbell Hall (31-5), which won its third state Division IV championship in four years last week.

"I've been telling people all year long that he's the most complete player in high school basketball," Coach Terry Kelly said of Holiday, who will receive his award during a ceremony today on campus.

It's the second consecutive year a high school player who signed with UCLA has received the boys' award. Last season's honoree was freshman center Kevin Love.

Two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis, a UCLA recruit out of Santa Monica Crossroads, received the award in 1997.

"It's a terrific honor, a very special honor to be recognized as national player of the year," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said. "I'm excited for Jrue and his family because it's a great accomplishment. He led his team to another state championship, so he had a great year."

The award is based not only on outstanding athletic performance but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the court.

Dixon, who has committed to Rutgers, led Poly to three consecutive state Division I championships.

She averaged 14.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.4 steals and 3.2 assists this season for Jackrabbits (31-2).

Stanford-bound Nneka Ogwumike of Cypress (Texas) Cy-Fair was selected the Gatorade national girls' player of the year.

Holiday and Dixon will play in the McDonald's All-American Game on March 26 in Milwaukee.

Other Southland athletes playing are Riverside North's Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Woodland Hills Taft's Larry Drew Jr. (North Carolina), Compton's DeMar DeRozan (USC) and Los Angeles Marlborough's Nikki Speed (Rutgers).

Dixon is the only Californian selected to the Women's Basketball Coaches Assn. All-America Game, April 5 in Tampa, Fla.

On April 19, Holiday, DeRozan and Lee are expected to participate in the Jordan Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.


--Eric Sondheimer and Martin Henderson

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