2022 semifinalist announced for Naismith High School Boys POY trophy

Photo credits to 247 Sports

Thursday, 10 players were announced as semifinalist for the 2022 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy for Boys Player of the Year.

Amari Bailey, Cason Wallace, D.J. Wagner, Dariq Whitehead, Dereck Lively II, Dillon Mitchell, Gradey Dick, Keyonte George, Kyle Filipowski and Nick Smith Jr are all in the running for high school basketball’s top individual award. The final five finalist will be announced two weeks from now on February 17, 2022 and the final winner will be revealed March 7, 2022.

A full look at the semifinalist below:

Amari BaileySr.SGSierra Canyon H.SUCLA
Cason WallaceSr.PGRichardson H.SKentucky
D.J. WagnerJr.PGCamden H.SUndecided
Dariq WhiteheadSr.SFMontverde AcademyDuke
Dereck Lively IISr.CWesttown SchoolDuke
Dillon MitchellSr.SFMontverde AcademyTexas
Gradey DickSr.SFSunrise Christian AcademyKansas
Keyonte GeorgeSr.SGIMG AcademyBaylor
Kyle FilipowskiSr.CWilbraham & Monson AcademyDuke
Nick Smith Jr.Sr.SGNorth Little Rock H.SArkansas
Naismith High School Boys POY semifinalist


Amari Bailey – UCLA commit

UCLA has had three previous Naismith high school boys POY winners with the most recent being Lonzo Ball in 2016; the others being 2012 Shabazz Muhammed and 2007 Kevin Love. Bailey would be the first ever from Sierra Canyon (CA) to receive the honor.

Cason Wallace – Kentucky commit

Ron Mercer is the only Kentucky commit to win Naismith high school boys POY honors, doing so in 1995. He could become just the second player from Texas to win the award joining Cade Cunningham, who did it in 2020.

D.J. Wagner – Undecided

History could be made if Wagner continues his high level play. No underclassmen has ever won the award since it was introduced in 1987. Six of the previous winners have gone on to be drafted in the first round of the NBA after one year removed from high school.

Dariq Whitehead – Duke

Could join Ben Simmons, R.J. Barrett and Cade Cunningham as the only Montverde Academy (FL) players to win the award. Each of the three were selected within the top-3 picks of their respective drafts.

Dereck Lively II – Duke

Lively II could join R.J. Barrett, Austin Rivers and Shane Battier as the only Duke prospects to win the award. Each of the three were selected in the top 10 of their respective draft classes.

Dillion Mitchell – Texas

Mitchell could be the first ever Naismith winner to attend Texas out of high school and third ever to play in the Big 12 conference joining Cade Cunningham, Cliff Alexander and Andrew Wiggins.

Gradey Dick – Kansas

No player from the state of Kansas has ever won the award. Two Kansas commits have won the award prior to attending Kansas for their freshman season: Cliff Alexander and Andrew Wiggins.

Keyonte George – Baylor

No player from IMG Academy (FL) has never won the honor, nor has a Baylor commit. He could become the first to do both.

Kyle Filipowski – Duke

Three prior Duke commits have won the award and Kyle Filipowski could become the fourth.

Nick Smith Jr – Arkansas

No player from the state of Arkansas has ever won the award, nor has an Arkansas commit. He could become the first SEC commit to win the award since Ben Simmons in 2015