ANNOUNCING THE 2007 EA SPORTS ALL-AMERICAN BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
Torrance, Calif. -- The EA SPORTS National High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year is no stranger to honors or success.
O.J. Mayo, a 6-foot-5 guard from Huntington High of Huntington, W. Va., has been selected for the nation's top individual award for boys basketball players after winning all-state honors in three states and helping teams in two different states win three state championships.
This season, the University of Southern California recruit returned to his hometown to help the Highlanders to a 25-2 record, an unprecedented third consecutive state Class AAA title, and the highest-ever national ranking -- No. 3 in the FAB 50 -- for a Mountain State team.
Mayo capped his six-season, three-school career by averaging 28.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game while being named West Virginia Player of the Year. His most productive outing was a 47-point, nationally televised effort in an overtime loss to St. Patrick of Elizabeth, N.J., the No. 2 ranked FAB 50 team.
The West Virginia native couldn't play on the varsity team as a 14-year-old middle school student so he relocated to nearby Rose Hill Christian in Ashland, Kentucky, and competed for two seasons. As an eighth grader, he earned the first of five all-state accolades while leading Rose Hill into the Sweet 16 state tournament. He then played three seasons at North College Hill in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he earned three Division 3 all-state honors and two all-class Mr. Basketball awards as North College Hill captured two state championships.
Mayo returned to his hometown prior to his senior season and picked up where he left off with individual honors and state championships. In six varsity seasons, Mayo scored 4,113 points.
While players of all classes are eligible for the EA SPORTS All-American first team, the Class of 2007 is one of the best all-time in terms of depth and all 20 honored players are seniors.
National Player of the Year Mayo is a three-time first team selection and runner-up Kevin Love of Lake Oswego, Oregon, is a two-time honoree. Love shared state player of the year honors with fellow EA Sports All-American first teamer Kyle Singler while Mayo was this year's Bill Evans Award winner as the state player of the year selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. Last year's state player of the year, Patrick Patterson, teamed with Mayo at Huntington this season and also earned first team accolades by EA SPORTS, yet Mayo received 31 of 33 first place votes for state player of the year and was left off two ballots altogether.
Although no underclass players were honored as first team EA SPORTS All-Americans this season, junior Delvon Roe (St. Edward, Lakewood, OH), sophomore Lance Stephenson (Lincoln, Brooklyn, NY) and freshman Brandon Knight (Pine Crest, Fort Lauderdale, FL) have been selected as EA SPORTS National Players of the Year in their respective class.
The 6-foot-8 Roe averaged 22 points a game and was state Mr. Basketball runner-up to EA SPORTS first team All-American Jon Diebler while helping St. Edward to a 25-1 record and the state Division 1 semifinals. The 6-foot-5 Stephenson, last year's national freshman of the year choice, added to his already legendary status in the Big Apple by averaging 25.2 points per game while leading the Railsplitters to a New York Federation Class AA state title and its fifth PSAL crown in five seasons. After averaging 18.8 points per game at one of Florida's top academic schools as a mere eighth grader, the 6-foot-3 Knight led Pine Crest to a state final four berth for the first time in over 40 years while averaging 25 points per game.
"EA SPORTS is proud to recognize these student-athletes as EA SPORTS All-Americans," said Brian Movalson, EA SPORTS Director of Sports Marketing. "The performances of these athletes throughout this season and during their careers have been truly remarkable. We hope to see all of them succeed at the next level."
The annual EA SPORTS All-American Team is selected by the editors of Student Sports, which have named all-american teams and compiled national rankings in numerous sports for nearly 20 years. The format for the team calls for it not to be selected until all teams have finished their seasons, which makes the EA SPORTS honors more reflective of players who led their teams to state championships. The teams also are chosen after almost all of the numerous all-state teams around the country have been released.
Over the next month, EA SPORTS also will be bringing the All-American program into households across the nation with an hour-long syndicated television special that will air in almost all the major markets in the U.S. The TV special begins airing in some areas of the country this weekend.
Both the boys basketball and girls basketball All-American teams are included in that broadcast, along with previously announced All-American teams in football and girls golf. Still to come later this year will be EA SPORTS All-American teams in baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer and boys golf.
The TV show is hosted by ABC college football reporter Todd Harris and USA softball pitching sensation Jennie Finch.
Also named along with the players as the EA SPORTS National Coach of the Year is Phil McNeely from Duncanville High of Duncanville, Texas. McNeely's team posted a memorable 39-0 season record in winning the Class 5A Texas state title and ended in the top five of the final FAB 50. The son of one of the most legendary boys basketball coaches in Texas history, Clifton McNeely of Pampa High, Phil upped his career record in 23 seasons at Duncanville to 639-171 and won his third state title to go with previous titles from 1991 and 1999.
During the 1950s, McNeely's father guided Pampa High to four state championships and his teams had winning streaks of 58 and 70 games. He died several years ago due to the effects of Alzheimer's disease. "The most important thing I learned from Daddy was work ethic," McNeely told the Dallas Morning-News earlier this season. "He used to talk to me about the time you have to spend building a program."
To view the 2007 EA SPORTS All American Boys Basketball first and second teamCLICK HERE
About EA SPORTS EA SPORTS, the leading interactive sports software brand in the world, delivers real sports simulation games for sports fans. With EA SPORTS "if it's in the game...it's in the game." EA SPORTS is a brand of Electronic Arts (EA), the world's leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for personal computers and advanced entertainment systems. Top-selling titles and franchises include FIFA Soccer, Madden NFL Football, NCAA Football, NBA® LIVE Basketball, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® Golf, and MVP Baseball. The EA SPORTS All-American program honors the nation's top high school players in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, baseball and softball and, in conjunction with Student Sports, recognizes the top student-athletes for their achievements both on and off the field.
About Student Sports Based in Torrance, Calif., Student Sports has been the leader in high school sports coverage since 1979 with divisions specializing in events, marketing, television and the Internet. In addition helping develop the SPARQ Rating, the which gives high school athletes a way to measure their athleticism, the company also provides editorial information for several major Web sites including StudentSports.com (www.studentsports.com), StudentSportsFootball.com, StudentSportsSoccer.com, StudentSportsSoftball.com, StudentSportsBasketball.com, StudentSportsBaseball.com, Dyestat.com (track & field), CalHiSports.com and MDVarsity.com. Except for Dyestat.com, all are part of the Rivals.com network of sports team and affinity sites. The company also publishes an array of newsletters and record books including the "National High School Football Record Book" and "National High School Boys Basketball Record Book." Student Sports also created and implements such events as the Nike Football Training Camps, the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp and the Area Code Games. The company also earned four Emmy Awards for its "Inside Cal-Hi Sports" show and has developed TV programming airing on ESPN, CSTV, and ESPN2, including the "EA SPORTS Elite 11 Quarterback Show."