Sydneysider and rising star Josh Green scored a team-high 19 points against the La Lumiere Lakers, to bring IMG Academy to its first ever GEICO Nationals championship, winning 65-55.
Green, who had a quiet performance in the semi-finals against Montverde –where IMG pulled a comeback 74-73 victory with a 16-point surge– made a strong return in this game, scoring 13 points in the first half. He ended the game with 19 points, on 7/12 attempts, 3/3 free throws and 2 rebounds (box score).
“Its a surreal feeling, I’m at a loss for words,” Green said, according to ESPN post-game. “I don’t even call my teammates ‘teammates’ – they’re really like family and that’s how we approached this season, like a family. It really showed this whole week and showed how bad we wanted it.”
Josh Green was named MVP for the championship game, and was also part of the All-Tournament team.
Green’s IMG Academy Ascenders teammates also had outstanding performances, including Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists) and Jaden Springer (12 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists).
The Ascenders shot 46.7% from deep (7/15), and 51.1% on field goals (24/47) in this championship game.
“We’re the first team to win a national championship, that’s crazy,” Robinson-Earl said, according to USA Today. “With all of the great sports that we have here to be the first to win a national title is special for all of us.”
The IMG Academy Ascenders broke new grounds this season with a record 29-1 run, and also by virtue of having three players in the McDonald’s All-American Game: Josh Green, Armando Bacot, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
Josh Green is currently ranked at 7th in ESPN’s top 100 high school basketball prospects, and has committed to the Arizona Wildcats.