It’s been another celebrated season for the 2014-2015 Montverde Academy Boys’ Varsity Basketball team and particularly punctuated earlier this month after defeating nationally top ranked, and previously undefeated, Oak Hill Academy (47-1), located in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, 70-61 on Saturday, April 4, 2015, to capture the Championship of the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Boys’ National Tournament! This was MVA’s 2nd consecutive time winning the national annual high-school basketball tournament held at New York’s city’s Madison Square Garden. The 2014-2015 Montverde Academy Boys’ Varsity Basketball team’s final season record was 31-1, and they accomplished something this season that no other high school basketball team has been able to accomplish since the decade of the 1940s: MVA won their 3rd successive national high-school basketball title ! The astounding “3-PEAT” was televised live on ESPN. The team also improved their record to 107-7 over the last four seasons under MVA Head-Coach Kevin Boyle.
2014 MVA senior Ben Simmons, a LSU basketball signee, was named the tournament’s MVP after missing much of the DICK’s Championship game’s first half due to suffering a vicious loose-ball blow to his right eye. He effectively returned in the 2nd half to record his third straight double-double (with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists). MVA senior reserve guard Fard Muhammad was a star for the Eagles that day by dropping a trio of significant 3 pointers. Fard finished the game with a season-high 20 points. MVA senior center/forward Noah Dickerson, a University of Florida Men’s Basketball team signee, offered great leadership and focused shooting from the foul-line going 4-5 – and especially when the team needed it most.
This was Montverde Academy’s fifth overall participation in the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals. MVA was a runner-up in both 2010 and 2012, and champions of the national title in 2013. Montverde Academy, ranked #1 in the United States in MaxPreps final national high-school boys’ basketball poll, progressed to the DICK’s tournament championship by defeating top-10 ranked Findlay Prep, of Henderson, Nevada, in the tournament’s semifinals game played on Friday, April 3, 2015. In a game that went down to the wire, MVA senior guard Martez Cameron positioned himself under MVA’s offensive basket in the final seconds of regulation play to grab an unchallenged rebound and then score a layup that sent the game into overtime. In OT, Ben Simmons sealed the victory with great leadership and solid offensive leadership and direction. He finished the game with 24 points (14 of 19 from the foul line), and his overall play nailed-down the Eagles 57-53 win. In the quarterfinals of the DICK’s tournament (played Thursday, April 2, 2015), held at Christ the King High School, located in Middle River, New York, Montverde Academy defeated Greensboro Day, of Greensboro, North Carolina, without difficulty 50-34. In the game, MVA senior Ben Simmons scored 15 points, pulled-down 11 rebounds, and recorded his 25th career double-double.
This season the 2014-2015 MVA Boys’ Varsity Basketball team was led by its incredibly talented senior class of Eagles, many of whom have committed to a Division 1 college/university this school year: Marquez Letcher-Ellis (Rice University), Ben Simmons (LSU) and Noah Dickerson (Florida), Jean Marc Koumadje (Florida State University) and Doral Moore (Wake Forest University). More committals are expected to follow in the coming weeks. MVA senior Ben Simmons, a 6’10 senior center, third year MVA student and native of Australia, averaged 28.0 points, 4.0 assists, 11.9 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. Over the last few months of this semester of school, Simmons received many impressive awards that included earning the distinctive MaxPreps National Basketball Player of the Year , the 2015 USA Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor, the 2015 Gatorade® National Boys Basketball Player Of The Year, the 2015 Naismith Trophy, and the Wootten Player of the Year. Before assisting the Eagles in securing their 3rd consecutive national boys high-school basketball title, Simmons played 4 games in a row (Wednesday-Saturday) that involved travelling from Chicago, Illinois (on a Wednesday night), and playing in the 38th Annual 2015 McDonald’s All American Game, to then immediately flying to New York, New York, to join his Montverde Academy teammates for three successive games in the DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Boys’ Nationals Championship. Simmons was also honored for being selected to McDonald’s All-American Game at a MVA Upper-school Assembly last March. Most recently, on Saturday, April 11, 2015, Simmons flew to Portland, Oregon, to participate in the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit. Over the last two seasons as an Eagles Boys Varsity Basketball co-captain, Simmons is accredited for helping MVA amass a total record of 62-1.
On April 5, 2014, Montverde Academy’s 2013-2014 Boys’ Varsity Boys’ Basketball team won its 2nd consecutive national high school basketball title after defeating Oak Hill Academy 71-62, in the championship game of the 2014 DICK’S tournament. MVA was led by Simmons and 2014 MVA graduate D’Angelo Russell, the 2015 Big 10 Freshman Player of the Year, and 2015 NBA Draft prospect now attending Ohio State University. The 2013-2014 MVA squad finished its season undefeated (28-0) and ranked #1 high-school basketball team in the United States by “4 of 6″ widely respected national high-school basketball polls. In 2013, MVA Eagles won the ESPN 2013 National Invitational Tournament Championship. 2013 MVA graduates Kasey Hill University of Florida, and 2015 NBA Draft prospect Dakari Johnson, now finishing his sophomore year at the University of Kentucky were key-factors in MVA’s thrilling come from behind 67-66 victory over St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark, New Jersey. The Eagles finished that season 25-2 record and were a consensus #1 nationally ranked high-school boys’ basketball team in all widely authoritative national high-school basketball polls.
In related MVA Boys’ Varsity Basketball news, congratulations to Head Coach Mr. Kevin Boyle in coaching Team-WEST to victory over Team-EAST (118-116) in the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic! Read about Coach Boyle’s selection here. For more on Friday’s game, please visit Chris Johnson’s following Sports Illustrated article, “Future NBA prospects show their potential at Jordan Brand Classic,” posted on-line last Saturday April 18, 2015.