JaRon Boone is not an ordinary high school basketball player, but then again he doesn't come from an ordinary basketball background.

Not many high school boys routinely play pickup games with current NBA players. Boone did last summer and he held his own.The fact that he's not intimidated by professional superstars stands to reason, however. After all, he was raised by one. JaRon is the son of former Utah Star and Jazzman Ron Boone, whose who's 1,041 consecutive professional games played is still a record.

But make no mistake about it, JaRon has made a name for himself in the basketball world. For his recently completed senior season at Skyline High, Boone has been named the Deseret News' 1991-92 Mr. Basketball as the outstanding high school player in the state.

Also being recognized as Most Valuable Players in leading their teams to state titles in the four high school classifications are Alta's Travis Knight in 4A, Brandon Parker of Ogden in 3A, San Juan's Nathan Nielson in 2A and Brandon Jones of North Summit in 1A. (The complete listing of the boys all-state teams are on page D-2.)

Boone, a three-year starter at Skyline, averaged better than 20 points per game during his career. This past year he led the undersized Eagles, thought by many prior to the season to be the weakest of the seven tough Region Two teams, to a second place finish, ahead of eventual state champion Alta."Finishing second (in the region) was a great accomplishment for us. I honestly thought we'd be fortunate to finish fourth," Skyline coach Paul Jeppesen said. "JaRon was one of the keys to helping us get there. He's just an outstanding player."

Boone, who stands a shade over 6-feet-4, was the tallest player on his team but played outside most of the time because of his ballhandling, passing and shooting skills. As a senior he averaged 21.2 points per outing despite being double teamed frequently and being the focus of opponents' defensive strategies.

While his point production remained about the same during his three years at Skyline, Boone's passing skills improved greatly. "He's a very good passer, sometimes to a fault," Jeppesen said. "He's never been a selfish player and sometimes he would pass the ball when he should have taken the shot."

Boone's talents were recognized locally right off, but last summer was when he started turning heads on a national scale. He went to a basketball camp in Indiana where he had the chance to play against many of the best high school players in the country and show off his ablilities to college coaches in the process.

Suddenly, he became the state's most hotly contested recruit since Shawn Bradley. Even the dean of college coaches, North Carolina's Dean Smith, made a personal visit to Skyline last fall trying to talkBoone into wearing Tar Heel blue as a collegian. Boone turned down that offer, as well as ones to Utah, Kansas, Seton Hall and Arkansas. He signed an early letter of intent to play at Nebraska last fall. One of the major reasons he decided to become a Cornhusker was to be reunited with childhood friend Andy Woolridge, a point guard who was also going to Nebraska.

Blue Edwards of the Utah Jazz, who has played in numerous pickup games with JaRon and has watched him develop, is impressed with the youngster. "Even though he was playing (in summer pickup games) against guys who were bigger, heavier and more experienced than him, you could tell he had a lot of all-around talent," Edwards said.

JaRon's father, a four-time ABA all-star, says there is no question who was the better high school player of the two Boones. "He is head and shoulders ahead of where I was at his age," Ron said. "He's as good as any high school player in the country. I was a 5-foot-7 point guard as a senior who averaged 12 or 13 points a game and was only recruited by junior colleges."

Alta's Travis Knight was another highly recruited player. Last fall the 6-11 senior forward made a verbal commitment to play at Connecticut, but he has yet to make it official by signing.

The Hawks had great expectations laid on them during the preseason but struggled to a 6-6 region mark. Alta finally put it together during the state tournament to win the school's first 4A title.

Although the season was up-and-down, Knight's play was a constant for coach Ron Carling's team. Knight averaged 15 points and 10.6 rebounds per game and was second on the team in assists. On three occasions he pulled down 20-plus boards.

"Travis was important to us in all aspects of the game," Carling said. "He passed, scored, rebounded and his teammates really looked up to him."

Alta is one of two teams to place two players on the 4A first team. Joining Knight from Alta is 6-10 frontcourt player Nick Proud, who had an excellent state tournament.

The other team to put two on the All-State first team is Viewmont. The Vikings, who finished with a near-perfect 23-1 record - the only loss a two-point decision to Alta in the state semifinals - were led by forward Andy Jensen and guard John Robison.

Brandon Parker started for Ogden three straight years and helped his team to the 3A state championship game in each season. The Tigers won the state title during his junior and senior campaigns. Parker averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists this season.

"Brandon has two main features that make him an outstanding player, his foot quickness and the quick release on his shot," Ogden coach Mitch Wilcox said of his 6-3 forward. "He could have easily scored 30 points per game if we had asked him to, but he was unselfish enough to sacrifice his own stats to make the team better."

Parker's teammate, Neil Geddes, also made the first team.

San Juan coach Dennis Jones says the game that epitomized the kind of player Nathan Nielson is came in a region semifinal against Beaver on the road. With time running out in regulation, Nielson made both free throws in a one-and-one situation to force overtime. In the extra period, he nailed a three-point jumper at the buzzer to force a second overtime. The Broncos went on to win as Nielson finished with 39 points.

"He's just a great outside shooter," Jones said. "He's earned everything he's gotten because he's spent hours and hours in the gym practicing."

Nielson, a 6-foot guard, averaged 22.3 points, seven rebounds and made 62 of 135 three-point attempts on the year.

Winning a Deseret News MVP award isn't new for North Summit's Brandon Jones. He took home MVP hardware for quarterbacking the Braves to a 1A football title earlier this school year.

Jones, a 6-foot-4 center, averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds this year. He's an all-around athlete who won the state high jump title last year and is going to Snow College on a football scholarship next fall.

"Brandon is a tremendous leaper," coach Rick Harrison said. "He had six dunks in a region game against Rowland Hall. He's a hard worker and very team-oriented."


(Chart 1)

Girls Honorable Mention


Gina Snar Orem

Angie Walker Taylorsville

Stephanie Sorenson Cottonwood

Sandra Rhea Bingham

Stephanie Cooper Layton

Shalei Valentine Layton

Tara Hinds Clearfield

Mindy Jarvis West Jordan

Annette Hill Roy

Elisabeth Pinegar Mt. View


Shanna Stevens Bear River

Jenny Powell Carbon

Vickie Larsen Pine View

Hillary Dunn Spanish Fork

Nikki Epperson Jordan

Kim Reimann Bountiful

Mary Giles Ogden

Amanda Wixom Uintah

Darcey Hayes Tooele

Monica Doman Bear River

DeDe Child Springville

Erin Hartigan Judge Memorial


Callie Thayne Altamont

Kim Frandsen Rich

Liberty Alder West Desert

Tami Pace Altamont

Joyce Johnson Rich

Shannon Topaha Whitehorse

Kara Secakuku Wasatch Academy

Miriah Wright Dugway

Melissa Barber Manila

Sharley Wardle Duchesne

Sherida Allen Piute

Traci Thompson Piute

Kelcey Goodwine Monticello

Jennifer Alder West Desert

Sally Griffiths Valley



Boys Honorable Mention


Mike Porter Bonneville

Barry Fullmer Bingham

Dave Sivulich Bonneville

Paul Barnes Provo

Ryan Halliday Davis

Chris Bates American Fork

Jared Cottam Olympus

Joey Haws Brighton

Galen Anderson Timpview

Ben Peterson Bingham

Rusty Brighton Granger

Justin Scott Highland

Shane Tingey Bingham

Eric Gentry Mountain View

Ryan Farmer Brighton

Jason Williams Hillcrest


Ryan Shaw Box Elder

Johnny Angel Union

Brandt Wilcox Mountain Crest

Chris Knight Ogden

Bill Bergeson Box Elder

Joey Johnsen Murray

Mark Bailey Payson

Cameron Evans Union

Drew Hansen Tooele

Todd Warner Tooele

Marc Lawson Tooele

Johnny Averett Springville


Dirk Christofferson Park City

Ryan Nielson San Juan

Lance Mickelsen North Sevier

Dennis Jones San Juan

Andy Trane Hurricane

Nolan Andersen Gunnison

Nate Robinson Beaver

Thayne Stembridge South Summit

Chris Winterer Park City

Mitch Bringhurst Hurricane

Jed Southwich Richfield

Jessie Wheeler Hurricane

Ben Dalton Beaver

Jason Allred Juab


Kade Morrell Wayne

Thad Feltner Bryce Valley

Jeremy Heiser Int. Christian

Ryan Renzello Tintic

Lee Robinson Piute

Derrick Clark Bryce Valley

Barry Myers Milford 4

Chris Barnes Milford

Rob Matlak Int. Christian

Blaine Tew Altamont

John Hoody Dugway



Second Team

4A Boys

David Isaacson, Davis, 6-7, C, Sr.

Doug Henstrom, Timpview, 6-1, G., Sr.

Ryan Lewis, Mountain View, 6-1, G, Sr.

Travis Homer, Davis, 6-4, G, Sr.

Nate Gardner, East, 6-9, C, Jr.

4A Girls

Allison Bills, Alta, 5-7, G, Soph.

Jamie Dodge, Mountain View, 5-7, G, Sr.

Jodi Wimmer, Davis, 5-10, F, Jr.

Wendy Lloyd, Cottonwood, 6-0, F., Sr.

Denise Parker, Bingham, 5-6, G, Sr.

3A Boys

Phil DeGraffenreid, Payson, 6-1, G, Jr.

Pat McGrath, Granite, 6-4, G-F, Sr.

Chris Stepan, West, 6-3, G, Jr.

Jason Lyle, Mountain Crest, 6-4, G, Sr.

Kevin Carlston, Murray, 6-1, G, Sr.

3A Girls

Chalyce Stevens, Bear River, 5-9, F, Sr.

Julie Patten, Pine View, 6-0, C, Sr.

Shelly Whittaker, Logan, 5-9, G, Jr.

Julianna Tanner, Murray, 5-11, G, Sr.

Leslie Call, Tooele, 5-9, F, Sr.

2A Boys

Steve Olsen, Manti, 6-2, F, Jr.

Russell Buttars, North Sanpete, 6-1, G-F, Sr.

Brandon McKee, South Summit, 6-2, G, Sr.

Spencer Singer, San Juan, 5-10, G, Jr

Mitch Johnson, Morgan, 6-4, C, Sr.

2A Girls

Becca Elison, Hurricane, 5-6, G, Soph.

Heather Whimpey, Morgan, 5-10, C, Jr.

Heather Mason, North Sevier, 5-8, F, Sr.

Janette Brown, Richfield, 5-7, G, Sr.

Rachel Williamson, North Sevier, 5-11, G, Sr.

1A Boys

Lance Pace, North Summit, 5-11, G, Sr.

Todd Puffer, Milford, 6-4, F, Sr.

Adam Bronson, Monticello, 6-2, F, Sr.

Price Ellington, Rowland Hall, 6-2, G-F, Sr.

Henry Hopkins, Duchesne, 6-1, F, Sr.

1A Girls

Kacey Swensen, North Summit, 5-7, G, Sr.

Deanna Glover, Valley, 5-7, C, Soph.

Stacy Ekker, Green River, 5-8, C, Jr.

Andrea Howard, Panguitch, 5-9, F, Sr.

Patty Tucker, Altamont, 5-10, F-C, Sr.

Most Valuable Players

Class Name School

4A boys Travis Knight Alta

4A girls Raegan Scott Mountain View

3A boys Brandon Parker Ogden

3A girls Shannon Lopez Tooele

2A boys Jessica Cooper Kanab

1A boys Brandon Jones North Summit

1A girls Cherri Shurtliff Enterprise