No. 5 Nick Young vs. No. 1 Lonzo Ball: Vote for the best SoCal high school boys basketball player of the 21st Century (Sweet 16)

Who is the best high school boys basketball player in Southern California over the past 20 years? Over the next five days we’ll give you a chance to decide.

Our 32-player bracket tipped off last week with first-round matchups in all four regions: the Ed Azzam region, the Gary McKnight region, the Harvey Kitani region and the NBA region.

We now move into the Sweet 16.

Circling back to the Harvey Kitani region, top seed Lonzo Ball from Chino Hills takes on Nick Young, a five seed out of Cleveland, to continue the second round.

Here’s a look at the matchup:

(5) Nick Young, Cleveland

Young averaged 27.2 points and 10.8 rebounds as a 2004 senior at Cleveland High, earning 2004 CIF L.A. City Section, Los Angeles Times All-City and San Fernando Valley first team honors. He shot 57.3 percent from the field and 46.8 percent from three-point range (52-of-111), had 48 steals and 41 blocks as Cleveland finished 25-4. Young once scored 56 points in one game and had 23 rebounds in another. He earned CIF L.A. City Section first team honors in 2003. Young was coached by current Sierra Canyon head coach Andre Chevalier at Cleveland.

He went on to play at USC where he led the Trojans to the 2007 Sweet 16. USC defeated Kevin Durant’s Texas team that season and lost to Tyler Hansbrough’s North Carolina squad. Young was drafted 16th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards.

(Photo by Keith Allison)

(1) Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills

Ball was named the 2016 CIF Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year following Chino Hills’ perfect 35-0 season. As a senior, Ball was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year, the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year and the Gatorade State Player of the Year. He also earned McDonald’s All-America honors. Ball was a first-team All-CIF Southern Section selection as a senior, junior and sophomore. As a senior, he registered 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists and 5.1 steals per game shooting 54 percent from the field. Yes, he averaged a triple double. Ball totaled 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in the 70-50 state championship victory over De La Salle. He averaged 24.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game as a junior (2014-15) leading Chino Hills to the Division I state title game in 2015.

Ball went on to play collegiately at UCLA. He was picked second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He now plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.

(Photo by Erik Drost)


Lonzo Ball: 47

Nick Young: 9


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