Beal picks up national award
Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10:39 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10:39 a.m.
LOS ANGELES — Incoming Florida basketball player Brad Beal picked up his Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award Tuesday night.
Beal averaged 32.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game last season at Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.). He shot 73 percent from the field while leading the Red Devils (27-1) to the Class 5 quarterfinals. He concluded his prep career with 2,634 points, the fourth-highest scoring total in greater St. Louis history. He was also a 2011 McDonald's High School All-American and 2011 Jordan Brand Classic selection.
Pitcher Dylan Bundy of Oklahoma and soccer player Morgan Brian from Georgia were honored as the national prep athletes of the year at the same function.
Bundy, who was selected fourth overall by Baltimore in June's major league draft, became the first baseball player to win the award in nine years.
Basketball and football players had won all the previous eight the male awards.
“I was very surprised,” Bundy said. “They're very good at surprising people here. Everybody was telling me I had a shot, but I didn't want to get my hopes up.”
Bundy went 11-0 with a 0.20 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 71 innings for Owasso High. He also hit .467 with 11 home runs.
Bundy has signed a letter of intent with the University of Texas but he's deciding whether to sign with Baltimore. He has until Aug.15 to make a choice.
“We'll just have to wait and see and be patient,” Bundy said.
Bundy has enrolled at Eastern Oklahoma College as another option. He can play there after one year and enter the 2012 draft. If Bundy signs with Texas he would have to wait three years before re-entering the draft.
Brian scored 71 goals with 30 assists for Frederica Academy in St. Simons, Ga. She led team to 17-2-1 record and fourth straight Georgia Independent School Association Class AA state title.
“What an honor to win that award,” Brian said. “It's amazing. It was really surprising. Everybody has always told me that: a soccer player has never won.”
Brian has signed with Virginia. She captained the U.S. under-17 team in 2010 and has been a regular call-up to the U.S. youth national teams.
Bundy and Brian were among 12 finalists nominated based on athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character.
Past winners include NBA stars LeBron James, Dwight Howard, track and field Olympian Allyson Felix and WNBA star Candace Parker.
The other boys finalists were: quarterback Justin Worley of Northwestern High (Rock Hill, S.C.), distance runner Lukas Verzbicas of Carl Sandburg High (Orland Park, Ill.), Beal of Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.), soccer forward Luis Rendon of Cosby High (Midlothian, Va.), and track and field decathlete Gunnar Nixon of Santa Fe High (Edmond, Okla.).
The other girls finalists were: volleyball player Krista Vansant of Redlands East Valley High (Redlands, Calif.), distance runner Aisling Cuffe of Cornwall Central High (New Windsor, N.Y.), basketball player Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), softball pitcher Paige McDuffee of The Woodlands High (Texas) and track and field runner Amy Weissenbach of Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.).