Gonzaga signee Braden Huff was recognized as the top boys prep basketball player in Illinois on Wednesday, claiming the state’s prestigious Mr. Basketball award.
The four-star forward wrapped up a decorated prep career at Glenbard West High School in the Chicago suburbs by beating Whitney Young 56-34 to win the Illinois 4A state championship on March 12.
Huff scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting in the title game for Glenbard, which went 37-1 on the season and finished unbeaten against opponents from the state of Illinois, losing only to Southern California powerhouse Sierra Canyon. Glenbard finished the 2021-22 season ranked No. 6 in the MaxPreps national Top 25 rankings.
As a senior Huff averaged 16.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 61% from the field, per MaxPreps, but he often sat out fourth quarters for a Glenbard team that won 30 games by a margin of 20 points or more. Glenbard won its postseason games by an average margin of 31 points.
“It’s nice to see that winning matters, even if you’re not putting up the biggest numbers,” Huff told the Chicago Tribune. “You don’t have to be a selfish player and focus on your stats to get the individual accolades.
“We were able to meet our ultimate goal of winning a state championship and still recognized individually. That’s the cool part about this.”
Other notable winners of Illinois’ Mr. Basketball honor include Jalen Brunson (2015), Jahlil Okafor (2014), Jabari Parker (2012, 2013), Derrick Rose (2007), Jon Scheyer (2006), Shaun Livingston (2004), Darius Mules (2000) and Kevin Garnett (1995).
Huff signed with Gonzaga in January after committing to Mark Few’s program on Sept. 27, 2021. The 6-foot-11, 205-pound forward also received offers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa, Creighton, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Northwestern, among others.
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