ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prep star Bradley Beal of Chaminade High School in St. Louis is the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

It’s just the latest honor for the 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior, who has signed a letter of intent to play at Florida next year.

Beal is the first player from Missouri to win the Gatorade award. Former NBA star Alonzo Mourning — the 1988 winner — surprised Beal with the trophy Monday at his global issues class at Chaminade.

Beal averaged 32.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists this year in leading the Red Devils to the Missouri Class 5 quarterfinals. He also helped Chaminade win the championship in 2009, and concluded his prep career with 2,634 points.

“I’m not the type of guy to brag, really, but this is a tremendous honor,” Beal said after the ceremony in the school’s gym with the entire school and faculty in attendance. “I’m honored to receive this award. This award speaks for itself.”

Beal is a 2011 McDonald’s High School All-American, a first-team Parade Magazine All-American and a 2011 Jordan Brand Classic selection. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 7 recruit in the ESPNU Top 100.

Mourning said he was happy to be asked to give Beal his trophy.

“I do realize the best is yet to come,” Mourning said to Beal during the ceremony. “I’m excited about watching your journey and watching your life continue to develop and watching your career blossom even more. I wish you nothing but the best.”

In the classroom, Beal has maintained a 91.7 average.

“He does so much more than just play on the court,” Chaminade coach Kelvin Lee said. “He does it in the classroom and he does a lot of community service. He’s a fine young man. This is great for Bradley. He’s put in a lot of hard work for this year and his dedication to basketball is paying off.”

In 2009, Beal played for the United States in an under-16 tournament in Buenos Aries, Argentina. He averaged 19 points in leading the team to the gold medal.

During the summer of 2010, he played for the U.S. in the under-17 FIBA World Championship in Germany. He won MVP honors in that tournament after averaging 18.3 points per game.

Copyright Associated Press


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