Courageous Australian basketballer Ben Simmons was poked in the eye in a dirty game, but led his team to a third US high school national championship.
Australian teenage basketball phenomenon Ben Simmons has added another elite US trophy and most valuable player award to his collection.
The 18-year-old, 206cm tall Simmons led Florida high school Montverde Academy to its third-consecutive national championship with a 70-61 win over the number one-ranked Oak Hill Academy at New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
"It's amazing and surreal," Simmons, named the game's MVP, said.
"I just don't know what to say."
It was a courageous effort from Simmons in a scrappy game with dirty plays, including an incident of genital-grabbing involving Montverde teammate Marcel Ponitka on Oak Hill's Joe Hampton.
Simmons was poked in the eye in the first quarter, suffered blurred vision and didn't return until late in the second with Montverde down 28-19.
Simmons finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, including four straight free throws and a breakaway dunk to seal the game.
The win caps a spectacular high school career for Simmons, who in the past month was named winner of America's highest individual honours, including the Naismith Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player and Morgan Wootten Award.
Simmons will play for Louisiana State University in the coming college season and next year is expected to become an instant millionaire when selected No.1 at the NBA Draft.
The son of US-born import in Australia's NBL, Dave Simmons, Ben was raised in Newcastle and Melbourne, had a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in 2012 and the next year moved to Montverde, one of America's elite high school basketball programs.