Oregon's Love wins high school POY award

Originally Published: April 10, 2007
Associated Press

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Kevin Love is getting more love.

This time, it's as the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Love, who is headed for UCLA next season, added to his accomplishments Tuesday morning in a ceremony at Lake Oswego High School.

Love is also a McDonald's All-American, the nation's Naismith player of the year and The Oregonian's player of the year.

He joins former winners LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in receiving the national award, which recognizes high school students for academic achievement and character as well as athletics. Honorees are selected by a panel of sportswriters and others involved in prep athletics.

"Without question, Kevin is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school boys basketball player based on his statistics on the court and the impact his play had on Lake Oswego's success," said Jeff Urban, Gatorade's senior vice president of sports marketing, in a statement. "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be."

The 6-foot-10 center averaged 33.6 points and 17 rebounds his senior season, leading the Lakers to the Class 6A title game.

Love finished his prep career with 2,628 points, a state record. Overall, he averaged 26.8 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.

"His ability to dominate at both ends of the floor is pretty historic at the high school level," Lake Oswego coach Mark Shoff said. "This state has produced players like Richard Washington and Danny Ainge, who went on to great college and pro careers, but we've never had anyone of Kevin's caliber at this point in his career. I think he's truly set himself apart."

Love and South Medford's Kyle Singler headlined possibly the best prep class ever in the state. Singler, a 6-foot-9 wing also named a McDonald's All American, is headed to Duke.

The second-ranked Panthers upset No. 1 Lake Oswego 58-54 in the OSAA Class 6A boys basketball tournament championship game at McArthur Court last month.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press