The most important and pressing decision concerning Brighton basketball star Garner Meads has finally been made.

Meads, the coveted 6-foot-9 athlete who's been trying to make up his mind between BYU, Utah and Stanford for months, is going to go to college -- drum roll, please -- as Utah's Mr. Basketball.Now just where he'll go to play at the next level is still up in the air -- "His parents don't even know yet," said Brighton coach Jim Jimas on Tuesday -- but the lucky college will be getting one of the most highly touted and talented 'ballers the Beehive State has ever produced.

"There's not one kid in the state that could individually stop him," Jimas said. "He's a tremendous player."

So good that Jimas decided to end his coaching career at the same time Meads' prep playing days concluded. OK, that's not really why Jimas recently retired, but the idea of continuing on without Meads wasn't exactly enticing, either. But this is for certain: Jimas loved working with and watching Mr. Basketball progress during his career.

"I'm glad he (was) on my team. He's just been a pleasure to coach. Everything we've ever asked of him, he's done," Jimas said. "He plays and works as hard as any kid we've ever coached."

That hard-working style is what has molded Meads into a player worthy of receiving the state's most cherished annual basketball prize from the Deseret News. He's also received tons of national recognition, including being a national Top 25 player in the preseason by USA Today, being named the best power forward in the western U.S. by a well-respected Internet service and, most notably, recently being named a McDonald's All-American. He's one of only five Utahns ever to be honored as such.

That national exposure is about to increase a bunch. Meads will make his ESPN debut as he plays in the prestigious McDonald's All-American Game in Boston on Wednesday, March 29. He's also been invited to compete in the Capital Classic at the MCI Center in Washington D.C. on April 11, but he had to turn down an opportunity to play in Magic Johnson's annual invitational since he'd already made commitments for his two all-star games.

Meads has already shined against some top-notch national talent this season. He was one of the standouts at the Slam Dunk to the Beach holiday tournament in which the Bengals participated in December in Delaware, scoring 23 against Montrose Christian and 33 against New Jersey Marist. He was named one of the top five players there by HoopsScoop.

"That was a big reason for his selection (to McDonald's)," Jimas said. "People were impressed."

Of course, he made a high school career out of excelling against Utah's best players.

Meads was a three-year starter for the Bengals, and he never stopped improving. As a sophomore, he scored 14.5 points a game and he upped that average to 16 his junior year.

Meads capped his prep playing days with a stellar senior season. He threw down 20 points each contest while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out four assists. He shot 53 percent from the field, blocked 50 shots and undoubtedly led the state in double- and triple-teams received as he boosted injury-riddled Brighton to the 5A championship game. Though a title eluded Meads and his buddies, their teams made the semifinals every year.

"I think when you look at his whole career, it's as outstanding as anyone that's ever played (in Utah)," Jimas said. "He had a great career . . . (But) Garner would be the first to tell you he didn't do this by himself. It definitely takes a team to make a great player."

Interestingly, Jimas credits Brighton's turning point this past season to the ironic fact the Bengals decided to move the focus away from Meads a bit. Though his stats dipped some at the end of the season because of that, his team rolled on an 11-game winning streak before falling to Copper Hills in the 5A finals.

"His unselfishness had a lot to do with our success. That kind of made our season," Jimas said.

Perhaps the most-oft asked question regarding Meads that doesn't start with "where" is this: How well will he do in college?

"Garner will get better," Jimas said. "Garner can be as good as Garner wants to be. He's an incredible talent."

The thing that separates Meads from many is that he has a combination of smarts -- he earned Academic All-State honors with a 3.985 GPA -- and skills that few possess. He runs the floor great and has good hops. Meads' offensive strength is his ability to slash and create within about a 15-foot range. And Jimas quickly dismisses critics who nitpick about his supposed lack of shooting range.

"We needed his inside presence," he explained. "We kind of mandated him to stay inside because that's where we needed him. And he was willing to do that."

Meads' success carries off the court, too. Along with his academic achievements, he is Brighton High's student body historian and an Eagle Scout and, well, basically just a model Mr. Basketball.

"I think he's a great role model," Jimas added. "Young people in the Brighton community look up at his leadership and his accomplishments."