I’ve seen a lot of great high school basketball players who went on to do big things at the next level and beyond. I saw Carmelo Anthony even before he went to Oak Hill. I saw Keith Bogans and Joe Forte together. I saw Kevin Durant and O.J. Mayo in the same tournament. I saw DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors in the same tournament. I even saw Steve Francis in community college half a dozen times.
But it’s always the what if players that get to me.
One of the greatest amateur talents I ever saw was Eddie Griffin from Philadelphia. He was 6-9, athletic and coordinated, with a jumper and handles and the best shot-blocking timing of anyone in high school. The dude was an obvious future NBA All-Star, spiking shots into the crowd, dunking four or five times with ease, and playing a style of game that couldn’t be replicated. Griffin was such an incredible talent that during the 2001 NBA Draft, he was traded for three players from the same class. Think about that.
Griffin’s story eventually turned into a tragedy and while Michael Beasley‘s journey is still ongoing, he has been a similar case in unfulfilled talent. I saw Beasley play during his final year in high school and in just two short hours, he went from nearly causing a mosh pit during pregame warmups (stupid dunks!) to scoring just nine points in the action that really mattered.
Luckily, for now, none of the following players look like they’ll be falling short of expectations. They all have undeniable talent that’s on the cusp of blowing up. To make sure you’re up on game before the rest of us overload the bandwagon, get to know these names beforehand.
Here are the High School Basketball Players You Must See Before They Get Famous.
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image via Kelly Kline