THE BREAKDOWN: O.J. Mayo, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound freshman guard, is a dynamic all-around player widely regarded as the top player in his class since the seventh grade. He has tremendous basketball instincts, work ethic and skills and will play both guard positions for the Trojans.
HIGH SCHOOL: Mayo led Huntington (WV) High to a 25-2 record, a third-straight state title and the highest ever national ranking (No. 3) for a Mountain state team. He had a triple-double in the championship game, scoring 41 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out 11 assists. He averaged 28.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game en route to being named West Virgina Player of the Year. He was named EA Sports National High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year and was a first-team selection for an unprecedented third-straight season. Mayo scored a game-high 27 points at the Roundball Classic held in Chicago and was named East Team MVP, as he hit 11 of 18 shots. His list of honors include being selected a McDonald's All-American, Parade All-American (third time), and USA Today's All-USA basketball team (third time). Prior to his senior year at Huntington High, Mayo played three years at North College Hill High (NCH) in Cincinnati, Ohio where he helped lead the NCH Trojans to their first two state titles. In his three seasons at NCH, Mayo averaged 29.2 points and became the school's all-time leader in points (2,033), points in a season (748) and assists (505). In fact, his point totals in each of his three seasons there are the top three scoring marks in NCH school history. He also holds the school record for points in a game, as he poured in 56 on Dec. 17, 2004 vs. Lockland (OH). As a junior at North College Hill, he averaged 28.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals a game and led NCH to a 26-1 record and its second consecutive Division III state title. Mayo was voted Ohio's Mr. Basketball for the second straight season and his team finished the season ranked No. 3 in the USA Today national poll. As a sophomore at North College Hill, Mayo averaged 27.4 points and 7.8 rebounds and became only the second sophomore named Ohio's Mr. Basketball, with LeBron James being the first. He helped lead NCH to a 27-1 record and to the school's first state Division III basketball championship. In his freshman season, Mayo scored nearly 30 points per game while leading NCH to a 21-1 record, losing in the Ohio Division III sectional tournament finals (58-47) to Reading. Mayo commuted across the West Virginia/Kentucky border for grade school to attend Rose Hill Christian School in Ashland, Ky. In Kentucky, a high school athlete does not have to be in ninth grade to play for the varsity, so as a seventh-grader, his high school basketball career began. He averaged 23.1 points for the varsity team while in seventh grade and received his first recruiting letter. In eighth grade, he averaged 20.5 points per game and was selected as a first-team all-state player by the Louisville Courier. Mayo then moved to Cincinnati to live with his "adopted grandfather" and AAU coach Dwaine Barnes and enrolled at NCH, where his arrival was broadcast live on the local television stations.
PERSONAL: Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo was born on November 5, 1987. His mother's name is Alisha Mayo and his father's name is Kenny Ziegler, who also played basketball at Huntington High. O.J. was given the name of Ovinton J'Anthony, as his grandfather was named Ovinton and his mother liked the name J'Anthony. He is a business major at USC. Scored in the ninty-fifth percentile on the ACT. Favorite current NBA player is Kobe Bryant due to his skills, focus and determination. Has worn the number 32 since the fifth grade in honor of Magic Johnson. Made his first dunk in the seventh grade at a small YMCA gym in West Virginia. Favorite meal is spaghetti and meatballs and favorite movie is "He Got Game."