Westchester of Los Angeles senior Trevor Ariza follows teammate from last season to be named Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. Monster game in CIF Div. I state final vs. Oakland Tech was decisive in Ariza's selection. Click here for more on this year's top overall selection as well as for the updated all-time list of our state players of the year all the way back to 1920. Photo by Kirby Lee/The Sporting Image.

The fourth quarter of the CIF Div. I state championship game between Los Angeles Westchester and Oakland Tech was a turning point in more ways than just which team would win. It also proved to be important in turning the tide in the race to see which player would be this year's Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year.

With Westchester holding on to a 54-46 lead, Oakland Tech attempted to cut it down to six when a pass was dumped into the post for Bulldogs' standout Leon Powe. The 6-8 senior's shot, however, was swatted away by Comets' standout Trevor Ariza. A fastbreak in the other direction ensued. Ariza took a pass to the left of the basket and finished with a resounding slam.

When the game was complete, Westchester had a second straight state title by virtue of a 73-63 win. Ariza totaled 30 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists. Powe was only able to score 16 points, although foul troubles limited his minutes significantly.

But it wasn't one big game that made the 6-9 Ariza the choice to be this year's Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. It was more the maturation of his overall game, going from primarily being viewed as a power forward during his junior season a year ago to being much more of a versatile all-around player as a senior. Ariza had at least two reported triple-doubles during the season with assists being the third part of the equation, not blocked shots. He ended the season with an average of four assists per game to go with 22 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

"He was just outstanding in every game for us this year," said Westchester coach Ed Azzam following the final game. "Offensively, he took control of things when we needed him to. Tonight, he just made some incredible shots. I didn't think the human body could work that way."

Ariza also displayed great leadership this season for a team that lost several major players from the year before, when the Comets were deeper and more athletic.

"He's been like a big brother to me," said sophomore Marcus Johnson. "Basically, when he leaves I'm going to have his role. He was our big name player in every game."

Ariza, who is headed to UCLA, was basically picked for Mr. Basketball in a close, two-person contest involving himself and Powe, who is going to Cal. The Oakland Tech star averaged more than 28 points per game despite not playing all summer due to knee surgery. Powe recently played in the McDonald's All-America Game (Ariza did not) and has been named first team All-America by Parade Magazine (Ariza is on the second team). Both of those selections, however, were made before the season was completed.

It is the second straight year a Westchester player has earned the Mr. Basketball honor. Ariza follows 2002 winner Hassan Adams, who recently completed his freshman season at the University of Arizona. The only other different back-to-back winners from the same school since 1930 have been brothers Clifton and Roscoe Pondexter from Fresno San Joaquin Memorial. They are the State Players of the Year for 1972 and 1971.


(All-time list; selections previous to 1980 made retroactively based on research by Cal-Hi Sports founder Nelson Tennis)

2003 -- Trevor Ariza (Westchester, Los Angeles)

2002 -- Hassan Adams (Westchester, Los Angeles)

2001 -- Tyson Chandler (Dominguez, Compton)

2000 -- Tyson Chandler (Dominguez, Compton)

1999 -- Casey Jacobsen (Glendora)

1998 -- Tayshaun Prince (Dominguez, Compton)

1997 -- Baron Davis (Crossroads, Santa Monica)

1996 -- Corey Benjamin (Fontana)

1995 -- Paul Pierce (Inglewood)

1994 -- Jelani Gardner (St. John Bosco, Bellflower)

1993 -- Charles O'Bannon (Artesia, Lakewood)

1992 -- Jason Kidd (St. Joseph, Alameda)

1991 -- Jason Kidd (St. Joseph, Alameda)

1990 -- Ed O'Bannon (Artesia, Lakewood)

1989 -- Tracy Murray (Glendora)

1988 -- Chris Mills (Fairfax, Los Angeles)

1987 -- LeRon Ellis (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)

1986 -- Scott Williams (Wilson, Hacienda Heights)

1985 -- Tom Lewis (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)

1984 -- John Williams (Crenshaw, Los Angeles)

1983 -- John Williams (Crenshaw, Los Angeles)

1982 -- Tony Jackson (Bishop O'Dowd, Oakland)

1981 -- Dwayne Polee (Manual Arts, Los Angeles)

1980 -- Ralph Jackson (Inglewood)

1979 -- Darren Daye (Kennedy, Granada Hills)

1978 -- Greg Goorjian (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta)

1977-- Cliff Robinson (Castlemont, Oakland)

1976 -- Rich Branning (Marina, Huntington Beach)

1975 -- Bill Cartwright (Elk Grove)

1974 -- Bill Cartwright (Elk Grove)

1973 -- Marquess Johnson (Crenshaw, Los Angeles)

1972 -- Cliff Pondexter (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)

1971 -- Roscoe Pondexter (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)

1970 -- Bill Walton (Helix, La Mesa)

1969 -- Keith Wilkes (Ventura)

1968 -- Paul Westphal (Aviation, Redondo Beach)

1967 -- Curtis Rowe (Fremont, Los Angeles)

1966 -- Dennis Awtrey (Blackford, San Jose)

1965 -- Bob Portman (St. Ignatius, San Francisco)

1964 -- Russ Critchfield (Salinas)

1963 -- Edward Lacey (Jefferson, Los Angeles)

1962 -- Joes Ellis (McClymonds, Oakland)

1961 -- Gail Goodrich (Poly, Los Angeles)

1960 -- Paul Silas (McClymonds, Oakland)

1959 -- Steve Gray (Washington, San Francisco)

1958 -- Billy McGill (Jefferson, Los Angeles)

1957 -- Tom Meschery (Lowell, San Francisco)

1956 -- Fred LaCour (St. Ignatius, San Francisco)

1955 -- Fred LaCour (St. Ignatius, San Francisco)

1954 -- Willie Davis (Alameda)

1953 -- Bill Bond (St. Anthony, Long Beach)

1952 -- Willie Nauls (San Pedro)

1951 -- Ken Sears (Watsonville)

1950 -- Don Bragg (Galileo, San Francisco)

1949 -- Kenny Flower (Lowell, San Francisco)

1948 -- Jim Loscutoff (Palo Alto)

1947 -- Bill McColl (Hoover, San Diego)

1946 -- Don Lofgren (Technical, Oakland)

1945 -- Bobby Kloppenburg (Marshall, Los Angeles)

1944 -- Bill Sharman (Porterville)

1943 -- Kevin O'Shea (St. Ignatius, San Francisco)

1942 -- Andy Wolfe (Richmond)

1941 -- Horace Brightman (Wilson, Long Beach)

1940 -- Howie Dallmar (Lowell, San Francisco)

1939 -- Jim Pollard (Technical, Oakland)

1938 -- John Mandic (Roosevelt, Los Angeles)

1937 -- Don Burness (Lowell, San Francisco)

1936 -- Don Burness (Lowell, San Francisco)

1935 -- Toddy Giannini (Balboa, San Francisco)

1934 -- Hank Luisetti (Galileo, San Francisco)

1933 -- Hank Luisetti (Galileo, San Francisco)

1932 -- Richie Hay (Lowell, San Francisco)

1931 -- Frank Sobrero (Oakland)

1930 -- Lee Guttero (Lincoln, Los Angeles)

1929 -- Hands Slavich (Galileo, San Francisco)

1928 -- Clem Sultenfuss (Hollywood)

1927 -- Dick Linthicum (Hollywood)

1926 -- Jim Mears (Hollywood)

1925 -- Johnny Lehners (Hollywood)

1924 -- Vern Corbin (Piedmont)

1923 -- Max Miller (Manual Arts, Los Angeles)

1922 -- Gene Dorsey (Hollywood)

1921 -- Ernie Nevers (Santa Rosa)

1920 -- Lyle Richards (Orange)

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