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Jruuuuuue Holiday: National Player Of The Year

Raisin was already on the good news last night.

For the second consecutive year Coach Ben Howland will have a NPOY in his incoming recruiting class. Last year it was of course this week's SI cover boy, this year it is none other than our local kid Jruuuuuuuuuuuuuuue Holiday. From the Daily News:

Campbell Hall of North Hollywood basketball standout Jrue Holiday was named the 2007-08 Gatorade National Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.

Holiday, who led the Vikings to three state championships in four seasons, including the Div. IV title this year, will receive his award this afternoon at a ceremony on campus.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 25.4 points, 11.2rebounds, 6.4assists, 4.4 steals and 2.4 blocks per game this year for the Vikings, his last before joining UCLA next season.

He's just the second player in area history to surpass 2,600 career points, finishing with 2,666. Mitchell Butler, who played at Oakwood of North Hollywood, scored 2,682points over his career.
Can you imagine what Coach Howland would have done with Mitchell Butler? (who BTW IIRC was also the valedictorian of his high school class). Anyway, Coach Howland was thrilled for the Holidays, as was his current head coach. From the LA Times:
"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.
We are all proud of Jrue. Congrats to the Holidays. I know everyone is consumed with tomorrow night. But I cannot wait to see Jrue with U.C.L.A. stitched in front of his basketball uniform.