by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17
All first-team portraits by Kareem Black / kareemblack.com
One of the biggest highlights of SLAM 139 is undoubtedly our High School All-Americans.
As we’ve tried to do the last few years, we got our top-five together, outfitted them in custom-made SLAM All-American jerseys (this year’s made by the good folks at Dynamic Team Sports in PA) and executed a fresh photo shoot. As those of you who know your famous intersections should be able to tell, this year’s first teamers (from left to right, Perry Jones, Kyrie Irving, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Knight and Harrison Barnes) were shot right in the heart of Times Square in Manhattan.
The guys were in town for the Jordan Brand Classic, and as the official magazine partner of the game, we get a lot of time with the players to execute fresh stuff like this photo shoot (with the invaluable help of Kevin Foley, who handles media relations for the game).
Not surprisingly, the players were honored to make the team, loved the jerseys and got a total kick out of being shot in Times Square, where the onlookers were many and females made it clear that high school seniors are not too young to have groupies coming after them.
How’d they make this esteemed group? By being sick ballplayers who captured the attention and respect of both scouting gurus around the country, as well as of our staff (most particularly, myself, Rodger Bohn, Ryan Jones and Aggrey Sam, all of whom had a “vote” in who we wanted to honor).
Aggrey, who is now covering the Bulls for CSN Chicago, actually cedes his ownership of our full high school rankings to Rodger effective this weekend (we’ll be posting Rodger’s version of top players from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 shortly), but understand that the following lists our best representative of what SLAM thinks about who the best players in America were this past season.
Skip to the second page to see our 2nd-, 3rd- and honorable-mention boys teams, as well as our girls’ teams, exactly as they ran in the magazine, and then keep going to see the 1st-team guys in street clothes…