Spillman a leading candidate for Mr. Basketball

Pleasure Ridge Park two-sport star and University of Louisville football commit JuJuan Spillman is one of the leading candidates for Kentucky Mr. Basketball honors this season and might boast the most impressive credentials of any senior in the state.

JuJuan Spillman is a gifted athlete. A two-sport standout on both the gridiron and hardwood, Spillman rushed for over 1,300 yards for the Pleasure Ridge Park Panthers this season.

Now, as the 2004-05 high school basketball season begins, Spillman, who has verbally committed to Bobby Petrino and the University of Louisville football program, appears to be one of the front-runners for Kentucky Mr. Basketball honors this season.

Only the third four-year varsity starter in PRP's illustrious 44-year history, Spillman case as the front-runner for the state's most prestigious individual hoops award is strong.

Perhaps, most importantly, is that Spillman's teams win. During his three years as the Panthers starting point guard, PRP sports a 77-19 record (80-percent winning percentage), including a Sixth Region title and a trip to the Kentucky State Quarterfinals in 2004.

Spillman, who averaged 13.8 points, dished out 177 assists and made 74 steals as a junior, has earned high praise from legendary PRP coach Dale Mabrey.

"I feel his is clearly the best player in the class [in the state] and he has proved it time and again," Mabrey said. "JuJuan has not only had the best high school career of any senior in the state, but he is also the state's best prospect."

Spillman, who will try to play both football and hoops at U of L, was the only player from Kentucky honored by Street Smith's as a High Honorable Mention All-America, invited to the NBA Developmental Camp, and selected to play in the adidas camp's Top 30 All-Star game.

With those impressive credentials on his resume, Spillman could become the first PRP Panther to win the coveted title of Mr. Basketball.

"Unlike some players in this class who get by on their jumping ability and strength at our level but who will struggle as undersized forwards in college, JuJuan is a point guard and he will be a point guard at the next level," Mabrey explained. "We have averaged 25 wins a year with himthe line-up and he helped lead us to the state tournament last season."

"I think he is the clear cut leader for Mr. Basketball," he added.

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