Love is National Player of Year

Kevin Love, UCLA's 6-10 signee from Lake Oswego, Oregon, was named the Naismith Trophy High School Player of the Year, for a senior season when he broke the Oregon state career record for scoring while averaging 33 points and 17 rebounds a game...

From the press release:

Future Bruin Kevin Love from Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Ore., has been named the 2007 Naismith Trophy Male High School Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.

The Naismith Trophy, presented annually to the male and female high school players of the year, is the most prestigious national award in high school basketball. Love will be honored at the Naismith Awards banquet on April 5, 2007 in Atlanta.

Love was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, a collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, based on his performance this season.

"Kevin has been a consistent performer throughout his entire career, culminating with a tremendous run through the playoffs as a senior and a state record for points scored," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "That underscores the kind of leadership he provides to his team."

During his senior campaign, the 6-10 center averaged 33 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks per game, leading the Lakers to the state final. For his career, in which he broke a 50-year-old state record for points scored (finishing with 2,628), he averaged 26.8 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. Love was a first-team Parade All-American Team selection in 2006, and the player of the year in Oregon for three straight seasons (2005, 2006, 2007).

"The entire Lake Oswego community is extremely excited and proud of Kevin Love for winning the prestigious Naismith Award," said Mark Shoff, head basketball coach at Lake Oswego High School. "This validates him being named the top high school player in the country and clearly he has been rewarded for his hard work and commitment to excellence."

Love, the son of former NBA player and Oregon Duck Stan Love, has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at UCLA.

Past Naismith Trophy winners have set a precedent for excellence at the college and professional levels. Notable past winners include LeBron James (2003), Dwight Howard (2004) and, most recently, Greg Oden (2006).

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