Today we honor our underclass players of the year Tre Johnson (Juniors), Cameron Boozer (Sophomores) and Caleb Gaskin (Freshmen) along with National Coach of the Year Pat Clatchey of Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.). These players along with 2022-23 Mr. Basketball USA Cameron Boozer will headline the 29th Annual Elite All-American Team.
2022-23 Mr. Basketball USA: Cameron Boozer, Columbus (Miami,Fla.) 6-9 F Soph.
The son of 1999 second five Elite Team All-American Carlos Boozer of Juneau-Douglas (Juneau, Alaska), he’s the fourth non-senior national player of the year and the first ever tenth-grader. In two high school seasons, Boozer has led Columbus to back-to-back FHSAA Class 7A state titles and two a pair of final FAB 50 national rankings. To view the full Mr. Basketball USA release, the Mr. Basketball Tracker voting results, and comments from Boozer, CLICK HERE.
For all-time Mr. Basketball USA honorees dating back to 1954-55, CLICK HERE
2023 National Junior of the Year: Tre Johnson, Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas) 6-5 G
This highly-regarded wing had lofty individual and team expectations in the preseason and he more than lived up to them, leading the Wildcats to the UIL Class 6A state crown with a game-high 29 points and eight rebounds in a 55-44 victory over FAB 50 ranked Beaumont United. For the season, Johnson led Lake Highlands to a 34-3 record and No. 8 FAB 50 ranking with only one in-state loss by averaging 21.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, and 1.7 spg. Johnson shot 53 percent (272-513) from the field, 42 percent (84-201) from 3-point range and 91 percent (177-194) from the line.
The Dallas Morning News Player of the Year is the top-ranked 2024 player by many recruiting services and received the most votes of any junior in the Mr. Basketball Player of the Year Tracker with 24 points on five ballots. He is Texas’ first honoree in this class ever (going back to 1966-67) and only the second underclass pick from the Lone Star State in any class, joining Charles Bassey (St. Anthony, San Antonio, Texas) for freshman in 2016.
For all-time Junior Player of the Year honorees dating back to 1966-67, CLICK HERE
2022 National Sophomore of the Year: Cameron Boozer, Columbus (Miami, Fla.) 6-9 F
Obviously with Boozer earning Mr. Basketball USA Honors, he’s also the choice among tenth-graders. Cameron’s twin brother Cayden, a 6-foot-5 guard, also had a terrific season for the No. 6 team in the FAB 50, averaging 15.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.3 apg and 2.0 apg. Boozer has a chance to be the first-ever three-time National Player of the Year selection. Only three players have ever been two-time honorees (in both their junior and senior seasons): Jerry Lucas of Middletown, Ohio (1957-58), Lew Alcindor of Power Memorial of New York (1964-65) and LeBron James of St.-Vincent-St. Mary of Akron, Ohio (2002-03). All three of those players were first five All-Americans as sophomores.
Boozer is the first honoree from Florida for this honor since RJ Barrett of Montverde Academy in 2016-17. The next season, Barrett re-classified up and earned Mr. Basketball USA Honors as a senior when he led the Eagles to the 2017-18 FAB 50 national title. The 2025 class is considered the best since the 2020 class and there’s a handful of candidates that would have been excellent choices among this year’s tenth-grade crop, including forward Cooper Flagg of FAB 50 No. 2 Montverde Academy, forward Koa Peat of FAB 50 No. 22 Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Meleek Thomas of FAB 50 No. 50 Lincoln Park (Midland, Pa.). In many years, any of that trio would have been cinch choices.
For all-time Sophomore Player of the Year honorees dating back to 1967-68, CLICK HERE
2023 National Freshman of the Year: Caleb Gaskins, Holy Trinity Episcopal (Melbourne, Fla.) 6-7 F
There were plenty of top candidates to consider, as this class already has a tremendous reputation and a group of players that were productive at a high level during the 2022-23 season. We decided to go with one of the best all-around talents with plenty of experience. While age can be wide-ranging with elite freshmen, this 14-year old already has experience at USA Basketball events and played varsity basketball for the Tigers as an eighth-grader. After averaging 10.8 ppg in his first varsity season, Gaskins stepped up to average 17.9 ppg and 9.6 rpg while shooting 61 percent from the field.
The All Space Coast Player of the Year by Florida Today, Gaskins scored in double figures 26 of 28 games and finished the season with 17 double-doubles. On top of his numbers, Gaskins draws raves reviews for his terrific frame, patience, IQ and feel. Gaskins is the second consecutive honoree in this class, following Cameron Boozer and is the third honoree from the Sunshine State, the first being Brandon Knight of Pine Crest (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) in 2007.
For all-time Freshman Player of the Year honorees dating back to 1969-70, CLICK HERE
2023 National Senior of the Year: Isaiah Collier, Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 6-2 PG
This is a special category whenever the Mr. Basketball USA selection is a non-senior and needless to say it doesn’t happen often. Collier was the second leading vote-getter in the final Mr. Basketball USA Tracker with 76 points overall (Boozer had 84 points), including five second-place votes.
Collier closed out his senior season strong, netting 22 points and seven assists in the GHSA Class AAAAAAA title game, as Wheeler won a third title in four seasons. Against national level competition, the Wildcats finished 27-7 and No. 20 in the FAB 50 while this powerful and explosive guard averaged 19.6 ppg (58.7% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 79% FT), 5.1 rpg. 6.8 apg and 2.3 spg.
Collier was part of all three state title-winning teams and Wheeler went 102-23 in his four years on the varsity team. Collier, who is part of a USC recruiting class that includes LeBron James Jr., had a game-high 25 points in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
The previous Senior Player of the Year honorees were Carmelo Anthony of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in 2002, powerful center Wes Unseld of Seneca (Louisville, Ky.) in 1964 and talented Tony Jackson of Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in 1957.
2023 National Coach of the Year: Pat Clatchey, Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)
This Maryland power won its eleventh Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) regular season title under the direction of this coaching veteran who just completed his 31st season at his alma mater. Before the 1980 graduate arrived, Mt. St. Joseph had never won the BCL tournament tile dating back to 1972. He was 20 when hired as the school’s freshman coach, was a college assistant (UMBC) for three seasons and in private scouting for a year before taking over the program in 1992 at age 29.
This season, the Gaels went 38-4 and advanced to the MIAA Conference A title game, losing to cross-town BCL rival St. Francis Academy of Baltimore. The win total tied a school and BCL single-season record and it could have been broken had Mt. St. Joseph played in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational. The Gaels did capture their second consecutive BCL tourney title with a 59-50 win over St. Maria Goretti, as Amani Hansberry (17 points, 21 rebounds) captured BCL tournament MVP honors for the second consecutive season.
Mt. St. Joseph finished No. 27 in the FAB 50, as Clatchey has now led the program to nine BCL tourney titles, all since 2003. He is now 792-245 in his career and has logged 29 consecutive winning seasons. To give an idea of the strength of the teams the Gaels play on a nightly basis, the eight BCL programs were 105-40 against non-BCL programs.
Clatchey is now the fourth honoree from Maryland, joining legendary coaches Morgan Wootten of DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) in 1998, Bob Wade of Dunbar (Baltimore, Md.) in 1983 and Mark Amatucci of Calvert Hall (Baltimore, Md.) in 1982.
For all-time National Coach of the Year honorees dating back to 1969-70, CLICK HERE
Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores