USA Gold Medalists Named Naismith High School Players of the Year
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who led the USA to gold medals in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women and the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, and Austin Rivers, who helped the USA to a gold medal in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men and will play for the USA in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit on April 9, today were named by the Atlanta Tipoff Club as the 2011 Naismith National High School Basketball Players of the Year.
Selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Clubs Board of Selectors, Mosqueda-Lewis and Rivers will be honored at the Naismith Awards banquet on March 21 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.
A 5-11 guard from Mater Dei High School in California, Mosqueda-Lewis will take her talents to the University of Connecticut in 2011-12, while Austin Rivers, a 6-3 guard from Winter Park High School in Florida, will head to Duke University. It is the first time in the history of the Naismith awards that both National High School Basketball Players of the Year will have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the current men’s and women’s defending NCAA championship universities.
“It’s always exciting to watch the top high school basketball talent compete on the collegiate stage,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.” To have both Naismith National High School Basketball Players of the Year go on to help defend the NCAA Championship in their freshman years is really something special.”
Mosqueda-Lewis aided the 2010 USA U17 World Championship Team to an 8-0 record and the gold medal in France at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship. Starting in all eight games, she averaged a USA third-best 11.6 points to go with 4.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.7 percent (34-67 FGs) from the field. In 2009, she helped the U.S. qualify for the U17 Worlds as a member of the 2009 USA U16 National Team that posted a 5-0 mark and captured the inaugural FIBA Americas U16 Championship gold medal. She started four games and averaged a team-high 14.0 points, while contributing 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
As a senior and team captain at Mater Dei in 2010-11, Mosqueda-Lewis led her team to a 29-1 record in the regular season and a CIF Southern Section Division 1AA Championship. Averaging 21.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, the reigning California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year shot 53.0 percent from the field, 44.0 percent from 3-point and 88.0 percent from the foul line. She has scored more than 2,600 points in her high school career, as well as made 318 3-pointers and collected 823 rebounds, the most of each in school history.
The son of former NBA star and current Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, Austin Rivers not only helped USA Basketball to a 5-0 record and a gold medal in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in San Antonio, Texas, he set records along the way. Rivers now holds the USA U18 competition record for 3-point percentage(.600, 21-35 3pt FGs) and single-game records for points scored (35), 3-pointers made (9) and 3-pointers attempted (12). Additionally, he lists No. 2 in competition records for points averaged (20.2) and fifth for points scored (101).
This past week, Rivers scored 25 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out four assists to lead Winter Park to a second consecutive Florida Class 6A title, wrapping up his prep career with a 28-5 record and averages of 29.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2010-11.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.