It’s a celebration of the student in student-athlete, Jason Weatherall says.
The All-Academic Game will tip off for the very first time Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles.
The 24 chosen to participate in the game can not only get buckets on the hardwood but are a slam dunk in the classroom as well.
Some of the numbers posted by the players in the classroom are off the charts. To be nominated for the game one must have at least a 2.5 grade point average. Extracurricular activities are weighed also to determine finalists.
Of course, there are studs who will be taking the court on Sunday that have exceeded those requirements … by a long shot.
The average GPA of the participants is 3.43. Westchester’s Nick Hamilton owns the highest GPA among the participants with a 4.2 GPA. Hamilton also shares the highest ACT score amongst the participants with Ponderosa’s Marcus Forbes. They each scored a 25.
Jacob Feder of Mira Costa has the prestige of owning the highest SAT score with a 2050.
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At the collegiate level there has been plenty of debate about students athletes forming a union and if there should be a standard pay-for-play procedure throughout the NCAA. With that in mind, Weatherall teamed up with fellow co-chair Darrell Reece to come up with the idea for the game, and putting the spotlight back on the student.
"(We) felt it was important to reaffirm the idea that interscholastic sports is academics first," Weatherall said. "While high school sports could lead to collegiate sports and a possible opportunity to be a professional, it is all about academics first."
Bishop Montgomery and future Long Beach State point guard Justin Bibbins headlines the participants which includes players from California and Arizona.
Alemany’s Tray Meeks and Cantwell-Sacred Heart’s George Zedan will serve as coaches.
While basketball may be the vehicle for players like Bibbins to get to the next level, all the players participating Sunday have shown throughout their high school careers that the game of basketball is important but it isn’t everything.
"There is life after sports, and you have to plan for it because you play a sport for only a short while and academics sets up what you do after that," Weatherall said.