ATLANTA (March 10, 2010) – Cypress-Fairfax (Cypress, Texas) High School senior Chiney Ogwumike and Columbus (Ohio) Northland High School senior Jared Sullinger have been named the 2010 Naismith National High School Girl’s and Boy’s Basketball Players of the Year, respectively, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.  Also recognized were Sean Casey (The Peddie School, Highstown, NJ) and James “Satch” Sullinger (Northland High School, Columbus, Ohio) as the 2010 Naismith National Girl’s and Boy’s High School Coaches of the Year, respectively.

The winners were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, a collection of leading basketball journalists and administrators from around the country, based on performances over the course of the season. 

The four award winners will be honored at the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Naismith Awards Banquet presented by AT&T and SunTrust on March 23 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta.  Among those also being honored that evening are Marsha Sharp and John Thompson for outstanding contribution to women’s and men’s basketball, respectively. 

The Naismith Trophy, presented annually to the top girl’s and boy’s high school players and coaches in the country, is the most prestigious national award in basketball. 

Jared Sullinger – The 6-9 center has led Northland to an undefeated season (21-0) and a No. 1 ranking in USA Today.  The Vikings are playing for the Division I district title on Saturday in the state playoffs.  The reigning Mr. Ohio Basketball led Northland to the Division I state title a year ago.  This season, Sullinger has averaged 23.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.  He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Ohio State next season.

“Jared’s body of work during the last four years speaks for itself, including an undefeated and top-ranked senior season,” said Northland Head Coach James “Satch” Sullinger.  “But what really makes me proud is that Jared is a better person then he is a basketball player.”

James “Satch” Sullinger – He has led the Vikings to a 21-0 mark this year and a No. 1 ranking in USA Today with the team playing Saturday in the Division I District Finals.  For his career he has amassed a 145-76 record in his 10 seasons at Northland including the 2009 Division I Ohio State championship.  His overall coaching mark is 234-135.

“This amazing honor was earned through wonderful young men that bought into our slogan, ‘One Heartbeat’ team first and foremost, ” said Coach Sullinger.  “I proudly share this honor with them.”

Past Naismith Trophy winners have set a precedent for excellence at the college and professional levels.  That group includes Lisa Leslie (1990), Chamique Holdsclaw (1995), Diana Taurasi (2000), LeBron James (2003), Dwight Howard (2004) and Greg Oden (2006).

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The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA’s Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.  Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.

The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.