Daily News All-Area Boys Basketball: Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster is the Player of the Year

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LA DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA BOYS BASKETBALL 2023

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Caleb Foster, Notre Dame, Sr.

Notre Dame High School’s Caleb Foster LA Daily News boys basketball player of the year.(Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame High School’s Caleb Foster LA Daily News boys basketball player of the year.(Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame High School’s Caleb Foster LA Daily News boys basketball player of the year. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame High School’s Caleb Foster LA Daily News boys basketball player of the year.(Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame High School’s Caleb Foster LA Daily News boys basketball player of the year.(Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame shoots against Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster, center, of Notre Dame celebrates with teammates in the tunnel after defeating Granada 67-58 to win the boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 11, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame shoots a free throw against Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame drives to the basket against Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame at the free throw line against Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame scores against Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame is fouled by Tyler Harris #5 of Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame scores against Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame drives to the basket against Kevin Grant #30 of Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame slam dunks against Granada in the second half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame shoots against Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame drives to the basket against Tyler Harris #5 of Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame drives to the basket against Tyler Harris #5 of Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame drives to the basket against Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame shoots over NaVaughn Long #2 of Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame slam dunks against Granada in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame takes a shot in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game against Granada at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Caleb Foster #3 of Notre Dame hangs on the rim after dunking the ball in the first half of a boys basketball CIF State Division I championship game against Granada at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Friday, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Notre Dame’s basketball coach Matt Sargeant talks to Caleb Foster as they defeat Sierra Canyon in the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Dusty Stromer and Caleb Foster celebrate after defeating Sierra Canyon in the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster and Dusty Stromer admire their championship plaque after defeating Sierra Canyon in the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster gets by Osiris Nalls of Sierra Canyon during the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster tries to the get to the basket against Sierra Canyon during the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster is fouled by Noah Williams
of Sierra Canyon during the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Dusty Stromer and Caleb Foster celebrate after defeating Sierra Canyon in the CIF State Division I SoCal Regional final March 7, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Caleb Foster controls the ball for Notre Dame as Luke Barnett defends for Mater Dei during their CIF State Division I SoCal Regional semifinal March 4, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Caleb Foster controls the ball for Notre Dame as they host Mater Dei for their CIF State Division I SoCal Regional semifinal March 4, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster drives to the hoop against Mater Dei during their CIF State Division I SoCal Regional semifinal March 4, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame Caleb Foster #3 brings the ball to the net as
Centennial’s Devin Williams #22 guards during a CIF Southern Section Open Division boys basketball
playoff game Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by
Andrew Foulk Contributing Photographer)

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame Caleb Foster #3 passes the ball
as Centennial’s Jared Mccain #24 guards during a
CIF Southern Section Open Division boys basketball playoff
game Tuesday, February 14, 2023. (Photo by Andrew Foulk
Contributing Photographer)

Caleb Foster of Notre Dame in the Mission League boys basketball tournament final February 3, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’s Dusty Stromer #4 celebrates with Caleb Foster #3 and Dante Ogbu #20 during a game against Sierra Canyon at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on January 27, 2023. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, #3, shoots a free throw at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame’s Dusty Stromer, #4, and Caleb Foster, #3, at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Caleb Foster of Notre Dame celebrates as they defeat Sierra Canyon at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion January 27, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’ s Caleb Foster (3) shoots from the outside against Harvard-Westlake’s Dominique Bentho, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at Notre Dame High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Notre Dame’ s Caleb Foster (3) goes to the basket against Harvard-Westlake’s Brady Dunlap (11) and Jacob Huggins (12), Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at Notre Dame High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Caleb Foster of Notre Dame against Sierra Canyon in a Mission League boys basketball game at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Caleb Foster of Notre Dame celebrates as they defeat Sierra Canyon at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion January 27, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Notre Dame’ s Caleb Foster (3) goes to the basket against Harvard-Westlake’s Jacob Huggins (12), Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at Notre Dame High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster scored 18 points in the Knights’ win over St. Francis Wednesday night. (Photo by Tarek Fattal, Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, #3, passes away as Campbell Hall’s Isaiah Johnson, 35, defends during game action at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, #3, drives around Campbell Hall’s Aliaun Iscandari, 30, during game action at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, #3, drives to the basket during game action at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, #3, drives around Campbell Hall’s Isaiah Brewington, 342, during game action at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Notre Dame’s head coach Matt Sergeant talks with Caleb Foster, #3, during a time-out against Campbell Hall at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Campbell Hall’s Aaron Powell, 311, shoots over Notre Dame’s Caleb Foster, #3, during game action at Campbell Hall Friday, December 23, 2022. Notre Dame defeated Campbell Hall 85-74. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Caleb Foster’s dream was forged in elementary school when he was growing up in Harrisburg, North Carolina.

“I’ll never forget going to my first Duke game at Cameron Indoor. It was the national championship team, and they were playing Geogia Tech,” Foster said.

As Foster was reminiscing, you could see the fandom rise to the surface of his calm demeanor.

“Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Quinn Cook …,” he said, listing the players on the roster. “You can’t hear anything when you’re in there. It’s the best atmosphere ever. I knew I had to play there.”

“I’ve been to North Carolina games, too. It’s nothing like Duke,” Foster added with a grin.

Anytime a high school player signs to Duke, you know they’re good. Caleb Foster is more than good, he’s outstanding.

The 6-foot-4 point guard – signed to don the Blue Devils jersey next season – helped Notre Dame win the program’s first regional crown and CIF State championship this season thanks to his 21 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

Foster, with the help of standout teammates Dusty Stromer (signed to Gonzaga) and Mercy Miller (Houston), scored 28 points in Notre Dame’s 80-61 regional final win over Sierra Canyon before setting a CIF State Division I final record 33 points in a 67-58 win over Livermore Granada on March 10.

Foster’s combination of speed, strength and quickness makes him nearly impossible to guard, especially when you consider he shot 38% from the 3-point line this year.

“He’s the hardest player to stay in front of that I’ve ever coached against or coached,” Notre Dame coach Matt Sargeant said.

This man can’t be stopped. Caleb Foster is doing whatever he wants.

He’s got 28pts and Notre Dame up 73-55 on Sierra Canyon. 3 to play pic.twitter.com/6UjudBiy17

— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) March 8, 2023

Foster, who transferred from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, is the third local player to sign at Duke since 2017 after Marvin Bagley III and Cassius Stanley – both from Sierra Canyon.

“I used to ask my parents if I could stay up late to watch Duke games,” Foster said. “It’s a place I’ve wanted to call home for so long. It’s an honor to do that now.”

Foster’s outstanding season earned him All-Mission League and All-CIF honors.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ryder Mjoen, Simi Valley, Jr.

Simi Valley’s Ryder Mjoen drives to the hoop against Agoura High January 28, 2023. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Mjoen has one of the most complete games in the area. The 6-foot-2 guard scored 20.6 points per game this season and led Simi Valley to a share of the Coastal Canyon League title by way of a win over Oak Park, which marked the first time in program history.

Mjoen’s offensive game is centered around a polished mid-range game, which helped him shoot 48% from the field, highlighted by a 41-point game against Westlake, a 35-point game against Palos Verdes, and a 34-point game against Culver City.

Mjoen’s efforts earned him Coastal Canyon League co-MVP honors.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Bryce Bedgood, Valencia, Jr.

Valencia’s Bryce Bedgood #35 lays the ball up as St. Bonaventure’s Kaden Glover #20 defends during their CIF State Division IV SoCal Regional final game at Valencia High School in Santa Clarita, Tuesday, Mar 7, 2023. Valencia defeated St. Bonaventure to advance to the finals. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

In one year, Bedgood emerged as one of Southern California’s dominant big men. As a sophomore, he averaged 8.6 rebounds, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. As a junior, the 6-foot-9 forward ballooned his numbers to 16.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game to lead Valencia to its first CIF Southern Section championship, SoCal regional crown, and CIF State title.

Bedgood, who learned to dominate the high school game on offense and defense, tallied 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting, 13 rebounds and seven blocks in Valencia’s Division IV state final victory in March.

Bedgood – who notched a triple-double and multiple 20-point, 20-rebounds games – earned All-Foothill League and All-CIF Division 4 honors.

BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Nasir Meyer, Agoura, Jr.

Nasir Meyer controls the ball for Agoura High as they host Simi Valley January 28, 2023.. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

No player in the area saw their stock rise more than Nasir Meyer. The 6-foot-6 point guard averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game this season to lead Agoura to an outright Marmonte League title and earn himself league MVP honors.

Meyer averaged just 3.8 points per game as a sophomore in 26 games. Now, he’s being recruited by a bevy of NCAA Division I college programs, including UC Santa Barbara and San Diego, which have offered him this spring.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Alijah Arenas, Chatsworth

Alijah Arenas of Chatsworth as they play Crespi December 8, 2022.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Arenas’ name resonates with the local basketball community. His father Gilbert Arenas played at Grant High before going on to star in the NBA and his sister is the starting point guard at Sierra Canyon.

Alijah is carving out a name for himself, and he’s doing it on his own merit, after a stellar freshman campaign averaging 30.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Arenas had eight games with 30-plus points; six games with 40-plus; and one 56-point game in 27 contests.

The standout has already garnered offers from UCLA and Kansas.

COACH OF THE YEAR

David Rebibo, Harvard-Westlake

Head coach David Rebibo of Harvard-Westlake celebrate with the championship trophy after defeating St. Joseph 765-65 to win the boys basketball CIF State Open Division championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Sunday, March 12, 2023. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

David Rebibo led Harvard-Westlake to the program’s first CIF State Open Division title after winning the Mission League a fifth straight time. In addition to Rebibo’s accomplishment of winning the CIF State’s highest division, he did it with just one transfer on his roster amid a transfer-happy era.

Fattal: David Rebibo’s connection with players makes him a coach you want your son to play for

Harvard-Westlake, which finished 33-2, is the only team that recorded a win over every CIF-SS Open Division playoff team this season.

DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA TEAM

Brady Dunlap, Harvard-Westlake, Sr. – 17ppg, 5rpg; All-Mission League and All-CIF selection

Trent Perry, Harvard-Westlake, Jr. – 16ppg, 7rpg, 6apg; Mission League MVP, All-CIF selection

Jacob Huggins, Harvard-Westlake, Sr. – 12.8ppg, 10.1rpg; All-Mission League and All-CIF selection

Dusty Stromer, Notre Dame, Sr. – 17.3ppg, 5.4rpg; All-Mission League and All-CIF selection

Mercy Miller, Notre Dame, Jr. – 17.1ppg, 8.8rpg; All-Mission League selection

Keyon Kensie, Taft, Sr. – 24.1ppg, 7.4rpg; co-West Valley League MVP; City Player of the Year

Naseef Lubowa, Birmingham, Jr. – 14.5ppg, 7pg; co-West Valley League MVP; All-City selection

Andrew Meadow, West Ranch, Sr. – 16.5ppg, 8rpg; Foothill League MVP; All-CIF selection

Mikah Ballew, Valencia, Sr. – 20.2ppg, 5.1rpg; All-Foothill League selection, CIF Division 4AA Player of the Year

Isaiah Sherrard, Oak Park, Sr. – 18.5ppg, 9.0rpg, 2.6bpg; co-Coastal Canyon League MVP

Jackson Mosley, St. Francis, Sr. – 19.4ppg, 4.3asts, 3.7rpg; All-Mission League selection

Bronny James, Sierra Canyon, Sr. – 14.1ppg; 5.5rpg; 2.4apg; 1.7spg; McDonald’s All-American

Jazz Gardner, West Ranch, Sr. – 14ppg; 10rpg; 3bpg; All-Foothill League selection

Ben Eisendrath, Oakwood, Sr. – 17.7ppg; 7apg; 5rpg; Liberty League MVP; CIF Division 3A co-Player of the Year

Elias Chin, Thousand Oaks, Jr. – 20ppg; 10.6rpg; 5.8apg; All-Marmonte League selection

Malik Larane, Knight, Sr. – 20.5ppg; 7.4rpg; 2.7apg; 1.9apg; Golden League MVP

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