Friday, October 17th, 2008 at 2:40 pm  |  118 responses

Links: Win Free Stuff!

Gunnin’ For That #1 DVD…

by Lang Whitaker

Contest! Free stuff!

One week before the season gets going, and I thought we’d enter the weekend with a giveaway.

On next Tuesday, October 21, the DVD for the documentary Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot will be available in stores. If you haven’t heard about the movie, it chronicles 8 players’ day to day lives leading up to the 2006 Elite 24 game at Rucker Park — Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Jerryd Bayless, Donte Greene, Brandon Jennings, Kyle Singler, Tyreke Evans and Lance Stephenson. And it was directed by Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys. So yeah, it’s really dope.

And SLAM’s got an exclusive giveaway for you.

If you want to get Gunnin’ on DVD, you can either hit your local media store on Tuesday — or if you’re in NYC you can hit the Virgin Megastore in Union Square, where Adam will be signing DVDs at 6:30 p.m. — or you can write a few sentences below and have the chance to win not only a copy of the double-disc DVD set, but also a limited-edition Gunnin’ BAPE t-shirt.

So what’s the contest? Easy. Since the film is about high school ballers trying to make it big, I’d like for each of you to write about the best high school baller you’ve ever seen play in person. Who was it? What made them so amazing? What do you remember about seeing them play?

You’ve got until Tuesday morning to get your answers in. I’ll pick a couple of winners and announce them on The Links next week.

That’s it. Get to writing.

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  • Tommy Patron

    Best High School baller I’ve seen in person? Kenny Battle, East Aurora High School. I remember seeing him running up and down the court dunking, stealing and blocking as easily as if he was saying the alphabet. I was a freshman when he was a senior, I think, and I had never seen anyone as physically superior to everyone else on the court to that point in my life. It really was other-worldly.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I’m not eligible, but this is a great DVD and a great question. I’d have a hard time picking one…Kenny Anderson, Jamal Mashburn, LeBron James, Michael Beasley…wow.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones
  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I know no one is going to believe this, but Chris Porter was really really good in high school. Then he just wasn’t…..

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero Dma

    Being from Portland, I have never really gotten a chance to see many local high school kids play. One that does stick out in mind is a kid named Charles Stoudamire aka Salim Stoudamire of the San Antonio Spurs by way of the Atlanta Hawks. We are both the same age and went to the same high school and had PE class together freshman year. I had just transferred to this school and didn’t really know much about him except he was Damon’s cousin. In class he was the typical lazy kid that didn’t try even though he was physically gifted being 6 foot as a freshman, quick and left handed. During basketball time in class he would just sit around and take shots from 30 feet away not getting into action. But game nights, he was something else. On offense he would destroy and dominate, scoring at will against any kind of offense the opposing team would throw his way. Double team? No problem – beat one defender and get to the rim. Zone? Have fun watching him hit jumpers all day. I still don’t like the kid’s attitude or demeanor to this day, but he was one talented mo fo.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    Best high school baller … if your from Halifax, you know its Vantio Grant. 6″2′ to 6″3′. Could have went to play D1 in the states easily. Received offers everywhere. Three things i remember about him: first, was not having to try out for our high school team, and his presence at the try outs was like we were all trying to impress him, not the coaches. Second, was playing pick up with about 25 guys, he had the ball crossed over one defender, spun on another, and from about 2 feet in from the foul line dunking on everyone in his path left handed (he was right handed), and still saying good D and good try to everyone. Third, playing against him in a tournament, my team was up by about 20, he showed up at half, said he didnt want to start second half because he came late. He came in and started to shoot, didn’t miss a three, as he kept stepping back and back. He hit about 13-15 3′s in a row, than ended it with a fast break dunk … they won. Theres alot to this story. But long story short … greatest High Schooler ive seen or anyone else around the East Coast. One of the top 5 ballers to come from Nova Scotia. Ask around!!

  • AD25

    Jake Smith for Rhinelander High has to be the best high school player I’ve ever seen in person. At any given time he was the only player on the court who could throw it down, which may not seem like much of an accomplishment compared to other ballers out there, but for a tiny school in northern Wisconsin it was like All-Star night in Vegas every time he took it to the rim. His impossibly deep threes and touch around the rim made our small gym the hottest place to be on Friday nights. The best thing about him was his incredible style and flow on the court, and his lack of a big ego off of it. We all knew he probably didn’t have the stock to make it at D1, but that didn’t stop us from lining up to see him take it to the opposition nightly.

  • Homie

    I remember watching Steve Nash play in HS (we graduated the same year, but our teams never played each other). His team was playing in the tournament final at a local Catholic high school known for their rowdy cheering section. It was a fairly close game, and Steve was at the FT line late in the game. The crowd was giving him the ‘over-rated’ chant just to piss him off (it was quite loud). When he hit the second free throw, he did the old ‘scratch your cheek with the middle finger only’ routine, effectively flipping the crowd the bird, which sent them into a frenzy. All with a smile on his face. Good times.

  • Ron

    There was this kid Maurice Rice from Stawberry Mansion High School in Philly. Dude would shoot the lights out, his range was literally from Half court in. This guy broke the Philly public league scoring record that was held for a very long time by Wilt Chamberlain. This was a chubby 6’1″ guy with deceptive speed and a nice cross over and first step. In his seonior year there was a high school basketball game played at The Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania, the game featured Maurice’s school against St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron,OH. The school from Ohio had a guy named Lebron James who totally killed it! I guess the bright lights proved to be too much for Reese Rice at that time. He was non-existant for most of the game, his team got blown out and mentally he didn’t even show up to play until the last 4 minutes of the game after the King had almost put up a triple double along with 5 steals. I remember standing there next to Jameer Nelson and seeing Gloria James seated cross court with AI and his people, and just the feeling that this was bigger than a high school basketball game. I had become a Witness! Lebron put on a show that I had never seen before. In one game the guy who I thought was the best high school baller I’d ever seen had been reduced to an afterthought.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Me. I am the greatest. I might not be the most skilled, but i got a bigger heart, bigger ego, more hops, more trash talking, and more confidence then anyone else. I am not gonna win this, but i am just gonna let it be known, i am #1. Me>>>>You

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Can I say myself? :)

  • lucci

    Every year in march, up in Glens falls is the New York State Federation Tournament where the state champion plays the PSAL champion and the Private School winner. Ben Gordon, Elton Brand, Sebastian Telfair, Marbury, Kenny Anderson and many other pros have played in this tournament. Ive seen plenty of games here but the player i was most impressed with was Kemba Walker out of Rice. I only saw him play one game, in which he dropped 32 without breaking a sweat. Ive seen fast guards before, but never anything like this. He might be the quickest guard in college basketball this year. Anyway, ive seen great performances by players at the Federation, but the perfomance by Walker was something else

  • Knucklehead

    not the best but my favorite was Waliyy “Main Event” Dixon in hs dude was a pure beast runnin the floor playin d whatever his team needed they got it but my most memorable moment was when Linden played Elizabeth . EHS was playing a 1-3-1 defense and the middle man tried for a steal and waliyy spinned off him leaving our center guarding the basket waliyy took off from the dots went up with intentions on dunking it 2 handz but the center jumped at the same time they bumpped chest 2 chest and he extended his arm for a thunderous dunk ,and 1 , OUR whole gym went crazy

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I have to win, right? I f*cking wrote 60,000 words. C’mon!

  • Patrick

    I went to a small school in eastern North Carolina. For a while in high school I went to every home basketball game–it was the only sport at which our school was not terrible (we, at one point, won one football game in two seasons).

    That being the only high school basketball I’ve really ever seen, I would have to qualify a senior named Lamont as the best high school basketball player I’ve ever seen. He would never rival any of the other players that anyone else here will mention. He wound up playing for a couple of years at the local community college and that was it. But for two years in high school I thought he was amazing, and for one simple reason. He could dunk.

    He didn’t dunk every time–he was about 6’4″ and played forward. But there was a fast break and he had enough room between the defender and the basket he would perform a one handed-reach for your life-slam dunk. At a lot of places they have several people who could do that, but most nights in the South Lenoir High School gym he was the only person who could even come close.

    I remember very well times when he would have the ball and everyone in the gym was anticipating his play, hoping he would be able to perform what for us would be a physical miracle. The anticipation of that made every game exciting, even if we were losing.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Jones, did you add all those Lebron articles you have wrote in the magizine and on here? if you did the word count would be over 100,000,000,000

  • Nonsteezy

    Best player i seen in High school hands down was Ronny Fields from Farragut Academy Chicago Ill. He played along side Kevin Garnett, the duo was insane really, they had great chemistry for being so young. Ronny had amazing hops and would dunk on guys like they werent there.
    I was in my junior year in high school when i saw him play, I still remember him and Garnett running the court and Kevin throwing the alley to Fields over a 6’10″ defender that i wish i had a poster of!
    Anyone that was into sports and lived in the midwest will tell you he was the Lebron that never made it. A horrible car wreck ended what would have been one of the best the game could have ever had.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Nah, just the book, ’cause that’s the only thing I had a link for — but GREAT question. I just clicked on your name. Your blog is occasionally funny and creative. Who writes it for you?

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Jones slayed me. I am done now.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    but i write it, DP has guest apperances.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    You my dude BET.

  • Marty McFly

    Lloyd Price, from Deleware but I saw him play at Oak Hill in the 1997-1998. He was and is to this day the best high schooler I ever saw, and I still attend tournaments. Lloyd was about 6’5″, could jump, defend, and was extremely quick. He was named an All-American and played in Magic’s Roundball Classic and finished with about 25 and 8 or 9 boards. Corey Hightower (another great) won MVP, but Lloyd very easily could have. He went to Xavier and things didn’t turn out, which is too sad. I have said ever since I saw him, that is the best high school player I have ever seen. Seems like a lot of guys from the late 90′s and early 2000 classes didn’t turn out who were ranked pretty high in hs, and I hate it, because Lloyd Price could flat-out play.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Actually, I would say my partner in crime from Becton Regional High School, East Rutherford, NJ, Dan (Rashae) Hillman. Dude was a monster. 6’8″, 240, was by far the largest student athlete in our conference and was a beast throughout the Jersey leagues we played against. He had a power game, all power really, was a good free throw shooter and rebounded like a fiend. His only issues were his ball handling and passing out of double and triple teams and really no outside shot to speak of,(which I think caused him not to get into one of the Division 1 programs he was hoping for) but in the high school game, he averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 28 pts, 14 rbs, 4 blks. His offensive game, at times, was reminisicent of Moses and Barkley and his defense off the ball was really strong. As a on the ball defender, he was a little slow of foot, so smaller, more nimble power forwards would be able to get by him on ocassion and he would pick up silly fouls (think Shaq in the last three seasons)because of it. His back to the basket game was pretty strong and his time at the Pete Newell Camp between junior and senior year really solidified his shot at a full ride for a small Division III school, were he wound up and I lost contact once he left. In a lot of ways he was like a gentle giant, not super aggressive, which I think may have come later with age, and his academics were a little shaky too, which didn’t help his cause when trying to enter the big time NCAA world. My favorite memory of our days together involved a Christmas tournament game in our Junior seasons against the heavily favored (and rightfully so) St. Anthony’s squad (the same St. Anthony’s squad that spawned the Hurley brothers as well as their coaching father). Going into a hostile gym in Newark, with little expectations, we stayed close throughout and his dominant presence was unexpected by the Anthony boys in their opening game of the tournament. He dragged us to a second half lead with about 5 minutes to go after trailing by double figures throughout the first half. By the time myself and my backcourt partner started to finally come to life, we had the game in hand, until Rashae picked up a late 5th foul, leaving with about 2:00 minutes left in the game and then they closed us out with consecutive threes and some clutch free throw shooting. We lost by 4, I think, but against a team of their caliber (they were ranked in the top 10 in the USA Today poll) we held our heads pretty high and won our conference tourney a couple of months later because of the confidence gained that day. I think he finished with 34 or 35 and had about 18 rebounds. He was exhausted and rightfully so. Our coach bought us White Castles after the game for the 20 minute bus ride back to East Rutherford and all what I remember most about the ride was Rashae saying “Damn, if I could have just finished the game”. For the rest of his HS career he wouldn’t foul out of another game. He gained a lot of noteriety after that game locally and so did our squad. I miss the big fella and hold that time very close to my heart.

  • E

    I’ve been blessed enough to play in high school against some really good players out in Cali, but without a doubt the best and most dominant player I’ve seen was a girl and it was Diana Taurasi who as a freshman playing at Don Lugo High School. She hit my school up for the easiest 50 points I’d ever seen. Had the whole package then and still does now.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Eboy’s comment is way over the word limit.

    I saw Randy Livingston playing in high school. He actually did a triple pump layup against like three defenders at one point. Before the horrible knew injuries, Randy Livingston was the flat out truth.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    The best HS player I’ve ever seen was a guy named Jahmai Jones from the Bay Area. i used to run in some leagues with this cat, we were about the same height (5’7), then one summer he just shot up to 6’2, then 6’5, to about 6’7. I mention this because he was a PG who became a SG/SF, had ridiculous handle, feathery jump shot and was so long, he erased mistakes on D.

    One of the craziest memories about this cat is he came into St Mary’s gym in San Francisco and balled wearing a pair of air max’s, jeans and a hoody. There were a few dudes from colleges I won’t mention (UC Berkley, SF State, USF, Santa Clara) that were ballin with us, and he balled on our squad. We played by 1′s to 16 and he scored all 16 points, the first 8 by dunks, the last was so hard that the park director said no one could dunk on the baskets after that. Jahmai started shooting from a couple feet in past halfcourt, all glass, just because. He called glass 8 times in a row, and turned to get on D before he ball was even at the basket. As soon as he hit the last bucket he went outside and smoked a blunt. This kid should’ve been playing overseas ball at the very least, but his laid back attitude and lack of desire got the better of him. But damn he was raw.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Allen, what do you consider “few”? :)

  • some dude at school

    Rashaad Carruth from Decatur, GA. He averaged like 32 ppg as a freshman in high school. He played for the Georgia Stars AAU. Best shooter in the world for about 3 years, then something happened. Maybe it was Tubby or just the hype finally took its toll, but if anyone lives around the Atlanta area or did around 2000, ask someone about Rashaad Carruth, they’ll let ya know.

  • wes

    dat dvd is goin 2be hot fire…i want dat bape shirt

  • andrew

    im from portland and the best high school player ive ever seen is brandon jennings in the les schwab invitational. He was so smooth and exciting. He was making unbelivable passes and was a true leader to his team oak hill number one in the nation. He had a fire in his eyes that just willed him to win, even at one point not backing down in a fight to a guy who was 6 10. I seen many great players play but this is far and away the best high school player ive ever seen.

  • a_whiteman

    see im from pickering ontario, just outside of toronto so i have seen some great high school players that the majority of you have never heard of. i actually had the pleasure to coach a kid named kurt alexander. Kurt was easily the most gifted offensive player i have coached/coached against/ played against/seen. although he is 5’10 he had the ability to play at the rim and score in the paint with ease, but the greatest aspect of his game would have to be his ability to flat out score. one day forever will stick out in my mind as it was the best performance i have witnessed in person at any level of ball be it college hs or nba. we had our annual memorial tournament for a student/friend of mine who had passed mid-season in a tragic car accident, and we played the opening game in front of almost the whole school(buy outs are great). anyways, he started out the game missing his first 3 shots and picking up 2 quick fouls. we took him off and sat him with us at the front of the bench to try and cool him down and explain the zone they were playing ( a 1 3 1 trapping zone). he entered the game again with just over aminute in the 1st quarter and proceeded to bang two 3s befor ethe end of the 1st. once he came to the bench at the end of the quarter, his entire demeanor had changed from frustration and anger to a look that could easily fit next to a definition of game face anywhere. the 2nd quarter began and from that point on he was a man possesed, finishing the half with 22 points on 7-13 from the field and 5-5 from the line. during the halftime huddle he told us he wants the ball and he wants to lead us to victory. the score at the half was 35-31 them(yes he had 22 of our 31). the 3rd began and he picked up right where he left off in the first half. 3 ball. another one. and 1 drive baseline. by the end of the 3rd he was at 38 points. the 4th started with a huge run on our part as he started to find his teammates through the triple teams he faced once the ball touched his hands. we took him out with 3 minutes left and he had 44. then with just over a minute left, he approached us coaches and asked how much he had, we told him 44, and he replied put me in so i can get 50. so we put him in, and he ended up with 51 before the final buzzer. the way this young man scores is phenomenal, it seems like no matter what defence is thrown at him he manages to score the basket or get to the line. the only way to describe his game is wade like but minus the reckless abandon towards the basket, hes a little more controlled. his jumpshot is silky smooth with great form and he will use the glass when applicable. i only wish that he had the work ethic and mentality to be coached and this kid would easily have garnered d 1 attention, but he will just have to settle for urban legend. long live kurt alexander!!!!

  • T. Hall

    The best highschool player I ever seen play is Rasheed Wallace. When he played for Simon Gratz (Nationally Ranked) they had a squad. He’d shoot the three and beat the hell out of your shot at staggering rates, all while playing half of the game…. Next was Eddie Griffin (RIP). Crazy Numbers!!! Lastly was the “Bean”. One year we played together in the summer and he beat Doug Overton something bad one on one. Mind you he was in the 10th grade and Doug was a NBA Vet. Later that week he hit a game winning, fade-a-way pro three with two cats all over him….. Oh yea, it was my dime!!! haha lol
    Shout out to Philly!!!!
    PS. Some of the best never even played in school, just on the blacktop!!!!

  • ER

    The best high school player I have ever seen play has to be O.J. Mayo, it was at the orlando tournament and I went to almost all of his games. He made the game look so easy, I remember he was wearing these rbk pumps and as soon as i got home i went and got a pair for the season… Another player I get see play almost every day is Tyler Haws, he plays at Lone Peak High school, 5a mvp as a sophomore, Mr. basketball as a junior, started all 4 years of high school, he makes the game look so easy, and he is the hardest worker i have ever seen, getting up at 5 30 every morning in the summer to work out. he just commited to byu.. look out for him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Marcnificent

    The best baller in person I had ever seen was a guy by the name of Lamar Justice from Batavia, IL…Im from a small town in Illinois about 40 miles outside of Chicago, but this dude was sick(his team also played Arthur Agees Marshall team in the documentary Hoop Dreams)…Dude was like ’6 3′ ’6 4′ and was like the only one in our conference who could dunk and or drop 30 on any given night. We thought he was Jordan, this was around ’92, ’93 he had the balled head, long shorts, chewed gum and just strictly dominated like he was bored out there, had a slick handle and flame J, but more importantly he had what I would nowadays called that “swag” factor, if you werent to the gym 2 hours before tip off forget about getting a seat.

  • Derms

    The best I’ve seen is D.A. Layne, he was a couple years ahead of me at Wheeler outside Atlanta. He was just the sickest, and he would take over games. In big games, he was lights out. He used to cross half court take two dribbles, pull up and splash waterfalls. He went to UGA had a decent/good career, but left too soon. When he was a frosh and soph in HS he was the baddest dude I’ve ever seen.

  • fluxland

    I won’t win, because Lang hates me but I’d like to mention O.J. Atogwe. What made him so amazing was that he not only excelled at basketball, but also soccer, football and track and field. All the sports either run concurrently or cross each other during the year and while excelling in athletics, he also tore up the classroom and was an All-Canada Academic, subsequently choosing to go to Standford where he took Biological Science. What I remember about seeing him play was that he never displayed any arrogance or egotistical behaviour, while clearly being athletically superior to everyone else. All team – all the time. Simply a superb human being on and off the field in every way. Oh, some of you may know him as a pro football player for the St.Louis Rams. Need more? See: http://www.stlouisrams.com/article/48332/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRA7nOHU3ms

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    I wish Ryan would win just so I could imagine him wearing a BAPE shirt.

  • http://bonitagame.blogspot.com Aaron

    We don’t get much recognition, but AZ has had some solid ball players come out in recent years. By far and way the best player I have ever seen in person was Mike Bibby. He was a senior at Shadow Mountain in North Phoenix when I was a Freshman. He wasn’t physically imposing or ultra athletic as many of you know but he had something that most young athletes never have, poise. The player you saw as an assassin in the NBA years later was largely the same player I saw as an 18-year old. He calmly hit one jump shot after another and based on skill and bball IQ, was unstoppable. He was the first example that I ever saw of skill overcoming just raw athleticism and he is by far and away the best player to ever come out of AZ and that says a lot with players like Richard Jefferson, Jerryd Bayless, Channing Frye, etc.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Also, Lester Earl was freaking amazing. That is all.

  • fisticuffs

    Well being that I am from LA i got to see a couple of great prep stars play. I remember going to middle school with Chase Stanback and seeing him just demolish everybody he played against at lunch. To me that was just crazy how somebody my age was that tall and athletic. But he wasn’t the best, that I
    ‘ve ever seen. Last year when I was in my senior year of high school, I got to see Reynardo Sidney play, and I’ve got to say that hands down he was the best I’ve ever seen in front of me. It’s hard for me to say that because I actually hate reynardo sidney. When I was a senior I ran into him in Chipotle.
    i knew who he was but I didn’t say anything, then the next thing I know he starts hitting on my girlfriend. I was pretty angry but me realizing that he’s 6’10 275 and I’m 5’9 190 I had no chance. So I just got my girl and we sat as far away as possible. But to get back on topic Sidney is the most versatile high school player I’ve ever seen in person. To me he was like Magic Johnson and Wes Unseld in one body. He could handle with the best, could score, and just gobbled up every rebound. That game epidomized what a great basketball player was, to me. A truly versatile player with no apparent weaknesses

  • rob stewart

    Jared Thompson was the most amazing player I’ve ever seen in high school. I was at a game to watch a superstar by the name of Cookie Belcher (who later played for Nebraska). Everyone was excited to see Cookie because he was bigger than all the other kids and capable of highlight worthy dunks. Then all of the sudden this 5’6 140lb white kid comes out of nowhere, balling. He was faster than anyone in the gym. He had a lazy lean to his jumpshot that made it look effortless as he pulled up from NBA range. And everyone went crazy when he crossed over his opposition. Keep in mind this was 1995 when the crossover was fresh. Not to mention I saw this exact same kid win a legit high school dunk contest as well. If you ask me he should be in the NBA right now but his size really hurt him.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Kobe. Yeah.

  • AP

    Best HS player I ever saw play in person was Ty Walker who is now at Wake Forest. I reffed bball for a high school Y league in Wilmington, NC. Rules were that you needed 4 players to start a game but needed 5 to finish; otherwise a team had to forfeit. In the playoffs one of the worst teams only showed up with 4 players and Ty. They wanted Ty to play but since he was not on the original roster and never played any games he wasnt allowed to play in the official game. So the team played with 4 players until halftime than forfeitted and scrimmaged for the rest of the game with Ty on their team against their opponent. Cat was blocking shots and just slamming the ball with authority. The Y had a no dunking/hangin on rim rule but I didn’t bring it up @ first b/c Ty was just dunking with ferocity. However, I had to tell him to stop dunking b/c the hoops were shaking.
    This was during a summer so he was going to be a 11th grader.
    Best 11th grader I ever saw….

  • Eazy Yi

    My friend, Anthony Woods. You won’t have heard of him, here in the UK you have to be extremely lucky to be seen, it’s impossible to find decent teams to play and compete against, especially for Anthony. We both started playing at roughly the same time, he’s in the year above me and only through basketball have we become good friends. At the local “Ball Hall” we played every friday in the U16′s league, at the time he was extremely talented, he could just read the game so easily, it looked as if he was born to play. Loose balls, blocks, assists. He was everywhere. This went on for around two years, I have become a reasonable shooter with age and got pretty good at getting a clean look and draining it and started to excel in my youth league, Anthony hada already moved onto the locals mens league, I thought he might’ve struggled but he didn’t miss a beat. He buries long ones, finished with either hand, And1 fadeaways you name it he put it in. No trashtalk, no belittling of lesser players and this was Mens league, some of the guys are ex proffesionals we have a couple former Filipino National team members. Any of you big on Rugby? The Warrington Wolves winger, Kevin Penny, lightning fast, he plays there too. Anthony was an inspiration to anyone that had a mild interest in the sport. The rest of our team weren’t commited they thought they were big time when we played on the streetball courts and we would dominate against randomers but they never got the team element. Anthony was a fantastic player, we dropped passes but he still got it to us on the fast break, he could bury it with someone in his face but always passed it off until it was needed. He’s not a player that has to dominate and showboat because he could do everything, anything and people would still shake their heads, you may never hear about him over there but for me, He’s the reason I practise everyday because one day, I might be able to take Anthony

  • Eazy Yi

    oh yeah, he’s only 6’0″ without the Afro

  • k-lang

    I attended and graduated from Lansing Everett High School in Lansing MI, where we even have our high school throwback jersey in national circulation. Red, White, Baby Blue.(Earvin “Magic” Johnson.. if ya dont know,now ya know). Go Vikings!! School Spirit aside, do yall remember this cat named Marcus Taylor?? He attended Michigan State played with Zach Randolph and Jason Richardson and led the Big Ten in scoring in ’02. Got drafted to Garnett’s T’Wolves and was cut right before the season started Sad, very sad. On the far west side of Lansing, Marcus attended a school named Waverly High.(Musin Muhammad attended, another Lansing bred athlete.) I had a childhood friend playing on varsity as freshman Maurice Benson (sorry dawg). But Mo B was good, have you ever been on the court wit dude a you feel like he’s 3 or 4 levels above everyone else? Its like playing with Jesus (not Shuttlesworth) or something like a supernatual experience, I’m saying tho, I know yall know what I’m talking about. This player just controls the game, shoots effortly, assists with style, crosses with ease, dunks even. If hes not captain, he’s the first pick. That’s how I felt when I played with Mo B. But that night he wasnt even a factor when Marcus Taylor stepped onto the court. Taylor was somewhat of an city attraction playing in packed gyms everynight, people even stood up when there were no seats left in the bleachers. Seeing Taylor play was like out of body supernatural experience because I couldnt believe what I was seeing. The best player I ever played with was getting fried, toasted and served ever so bittersweetly. I didnt want to see it but, I had to. It felt like I was being told that there was no Santi Clause. Taylor would step one foot over the halfcourt and pull up.(no bullsh*t) He had this ugly basic, fundamently sound crossover through the legs, that he burned the whole Viking squad with play after play. Even up 20, they kept him in! It was probably scout night or something. He would crossover and pull up from anywhere on the court. His form reminded me of Allen Houston, he just didnt jump as high, it was so pure. He was a fundamental ball player so when he got doubled, he fed his teamates, throwing oops even, so he was making plays and not just shooting all night. At the of the night my jaw still wasnt tired as it just hung open in disbelief. D*mn, yo he didnt have to do my boy like that.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    just great, the houston high school scene didnt blow up until after i graduated…and i dont feel like writing about Alton Ford..or Rashard after today’s posts lol….but the DVD sounds great, i’ll have to order it

  • The Last Kings Fan

    I’ve never seen a really great high school player, because my high school, a few years back, had a TEAM. Despite the best basketball school anyone from that team went to to play was Chico State, the team managed to finished second in Nor Cal division II before the loss to Archbishop Mitty at Arco Arena. This was a team that played the way the Kings did a few years back: together, despite not being the most talented team on the floor at any one time.

  • El Boydelz

    I’m from Saskatoon Saskatchewan so what chance would I have to win this mutha?!?

    Well in 1988 the New York Gauchos came to play at our biggest tournament BRIT (Bedford Road Invitational.) Since Conrad McCrae and Jamal Mashburn missed the plane to Saskatoon the best player on the team was PG Danny Tirado (5’5″). He wheeled and dealed all over the place bringing some real playground style to the frozen winter tundra of Saskatoon for the first time (it’s lovely in the summer.) The gym was swelling with huge crowds a real NYC team brought in. Seeing a true NYC PG in Saskatoon was a real thrill. The guy once dished out 34 assists in a high school game (the Gauchos were his club team) and if I recall correctly set a single season assist mark at Jacksonville University. After BRIT he said:

    “The people treated us like we were family and I wish we could stay, but it’s too cold. Man, it’s cold.”

    – Danny Tirado, 1988 BRIT MVP with the New York Gauchos

  • Armzilla

    The best high school player i’ve seen is Nick Caner-Medley. I live in Maine and he played for a team called Deering in Portland and he absolutley destroyed any D in front of him. Dude was like 6′ 9″ and had hops and a jumper. He was named Mr. Basketball for our state. But the most memorable moment was when a good friend of mine that played for my school (off the bench) shut him down for 6 points!!! Medley averaged 29 per so that was crazy. But after high school Caner-Medley played for Maryland, played at Rucker the day Kobe was their and has played overseas and recently the D-Leauge.

    Yeah Maine’s baskteball scene sucks, but he was the truth.

  • Dwyane

    Pasha Bains. A guy who makes a living from running camps in Vancouver, Canada.Now the things he did in highschool were amazing. He is definitely the best Indian player ever and probably the best Canadian player not to play in the NBA. He had an unbelievable work ethic. There was talk of him someday playing in the NBA and he went onto play at Clemson and played at UBC and SFU university here in British Columbia. But when he was in highschool this brown kid would just take over. So one day they took him to the states in a exhibiton game against some school in Seattle people thought he would get shut down by true defense. His answer was.63 points. He had a 40 inch vertical and got like 10 letters a day at one point from American colleges. He might be going to play pro overseas now. But in highschool he changed Canada basketball, he won every award Nash won plus more. In the states they threw triple teams at him and he would just pass to the open man or when someone called him out he would dunk on them. You Can search him up on youtube. But he was probably one of the best highschool basketball players ever in Canada.

  • Dwyane

    I HAD TO post it again with the correct e mail adress so here it is again:

    Pasha Bains. A guy who makes a living from running camps in Vancouver, Canada.Now the things he did in highschool were amazing. He is definitely the best Indian player ever and probably the best Canadian player not to play in the NBA. He had an unbelievable work ethic. There was talk of him someday playing in the NBA and he went onto play at Clemson and played at UBC and SFU university here in British Columbia. But when he was in highschool this brown kid would just take over. So one day they took him to the states in a exhibiton game against some school in Seattle people thought he would get shut down by true defense. His answer was.63 points. He had a 40 inch vertical and got like 10 letters a day at one point from American colleges. He might be going to play pro overseas now. But in highschool he changed Canada basketball, he won every award Nash won plus more. In the states they threw triple teams at him and he would just pass to the open man or when someone called him out he would dunk on them. You Can search him up on youtube. But he was probably one of the best highschool basketball players ever in Canada.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Honestly, though, I’m not sure who the best high school player I ever saw was. I pretty much only went to McDonald’s games and one of Magic’s, so I was sort of spoiled. Kobe was awesome obviously, as was LeBron. Al Harrington was really fun to watch. And Jermaine O’Neal was a beast (albeit a very skinny one). But I feel like my favorites in hindsight were guys who didn’t make it—guys like Lester Earl and Winfred Walton and Shaheen Holloway.

  • http://www.rubensborges.wordpress.com Rubens

    best high school player i’ve seen in person? júlio, from my home state, but that’s the price of living outside the us

  • D-mac

    Wow that Bains guy is preety amazing.

  • justin

    @Russ — Love to see someone mention Winfred Walton, hate it didn’t work out for him at SU and then Fresno. Anyone remember Kris Clack, Derrick Hood, or Glendon Alexander? My god Glendon Alexander put on a show. Then got locked up like a jackass.

  • Lenny Cooke

    LeBron James

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Question: Is there a word limit?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    or minimum, for that matter?

  • andrej

    I live in vancouver so i dont get to see many good high school players but the best players i saw played for a losing high school team he cud drive and score from any side of the court i remember watching him and wanting to be able to drive and dunk/ layup as good as he can

  • leslie yeung

    Kemba WAlker was the best player i had ever seen during my lifetime. I was too young to witness some of the other greats. Kemba playing in rice, Harlem was a match made in heaven because his game wouldve been perfect for the apollo. He is the epitome of a new york city GUARD he does watever he needs to win…oh and ask jrue holiday if his face is ok after getting THROWN DOWN in the All American Game. If i win or not it wont affect me because Kemba Walker is in my eyes the greatest to come out of New York in my generation.

  • brandon

    The best high school player i ever saw play in person would probably be JKidd as a senior at St. Joseph Notre Dame. I was only 9 or 10 at the time, but i remember him just being so much more skilled than everybody else. On the first play of the game, he got the ball and dunked it so hard, he bent the rim. The game had to be postponed for like an hour because they had to get a new rim. i think he the best point guard to ever come out of the bay area

  • Luke Eichinger

    Hello Slam,

    My name is Luke and I live in the Seattle area. The best player I’ve seen play by far is Tony Wroten. He is absolutely amazing. Tony makes the spectacular look so effortless. Tony is currently the top ranked 10th grader in the country on ESPN’s top 100. I went to one of the state playoff games where Tony scored 30+ points with a few monstrous dunks over people. The way this kid get up and throws the ball down with such authority is just amazing. I am in the same grade as Tony and I remember in 7th grade when we played his team Seattle Rotary Style (one of Seattle’s premier teams) Tony grabbed the rebound and took it coast to coast and ended up dunking on me IN THE 7TH GRADE!! I was shocked and completely embarrassed. But now i brag to my friends about being dunked on by him. Tony competed in the Elite 24 game at Rucker Park and had to guard the hometown hero Lance Stephenson. Tony held his own against Lance as he was fearless. So that my story of the nations top 10th grade baller and how I’ve been dunked on him.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Teddy: No limits either way. Just entertain.

  • http://joshdaniels.blogspot.com Joshua

    Taurean Green. He would have two battles with our team’s star player, Casey Wohleb, a year. We had one of the best teams in the state, and so did they. Bot games we played against Green, we just could not stop him. We played full court press which he broke effortlessly, and his jump shot was more pure than the Jonas brothers. In the two meetings between Casey’s North Broward Prep and Taurean’s Westminister Academy, Taurean dropped 40 something the first game and then 50 something second game. Dashing any hopes of a state title run for our team. Taurean even had a four-point play where he wetted a three from around 35 feet, and-one. He was just too quick, smooth, and good for our team to handle. He went on to win a chip at UF, and got drafted by the Blazers. As a sidenote, Kenny Boynton was an eighth grader on my North Broward team the year after. He played varsity, and sounded like Whoopi Goldberg. My. how he’s grown into being a real player. DeAndre wasn’t a bad player either.

  • Gaz

    I’ve never seen a high-school basketball game… but I can safely say that BETCATS is the worst H.S. basketballer ever.
    Pile of Poo > BETCATS

  • Joshua Rodriguez

    write about the best high school baller you’ve ever seen play in person. Who was it? What made them so amazing? What do you remember about seeing them play?

    The best high school basketball player Ive seen in person was Julius Hodge of St. Raymond High School For Boys. In my first year at the school as a freshman in 2000, I didnt know too much about Julius. I didnt even know about anyone on our varsity basketball team. But I always knew that St. Raymond was a good high school basketball team. Well I went to my first ever high school basketball game and it was us vs. St. Dominics. Omg Julius was so amazing in that game. He was so unguardable. He would just come down the court and shoot like no one was in front of him. His jumpshot was silky smooth. He was so tall but he has great point guard skills. The greatest thing that I could remember about seeing him play was that he could score at will. Nobody could stop him on the high school level. He was just too tall, great ball handling skills, great point guard skills and a great jumpshot. I also remember that same year that after we won the CHSAA city championship beating molloy, I remember I was in white castle across the street and julius came in and I saw him and I congradulated him on a good game and I just happen to have a SLAM magazine in my bookbag, the same magazine that he was in, when ya did a little article on him in the back of the magazine, da PUNKS section, and I asked him if he could autograph it and he did and I was so hyped that I got Julius Hodge’s autograph(I still got the magazine with his autograph) and ever since that day me and him would always give each other a pound(a high five) and say what up to each other everytime we see each other in school. So yea hes the best high school basketball player Ive ever seen in person, not just because I went to school with him but because he really was. Dead Ass.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Best player I’ve ever seen play in person from HS?
    Ater Majok. Played for the American International School in Sydney on a dog @ss team, he’s 6’10 and basically played the point the whole season while also being a centre. He averaged something like 40 ppg his senior season with 20 boards and half a dozen blocks to go.
    One game I was at, International was down 15 into the 4th quarter and Ater would just grab a board, dribble all the way down the floor and throw down in some guys face- hard. He did this 4 or 5 times and they were still down 10 with about 4 minutes to go, so Ater starts pulling up for 3′s on almost fast-breaks. Again, again and again. He hit 4 in a row and they ended up winning by 3.
    He had something like 58 points that game and 27 in the 4th Quarter alone.
    Know what? He never even played on a representative team, he was that far under the radar. Now look at him.
    But, in all truthfulness, Jones wins.
    Thing with Ater is, he didn’t yell or shout at guys when they were losing. He took the responsibility upon himself to make a difference. He lead by action and thats what separated him from other ‘star’ calibre players here. He didnt scream or throw tantrums when things didnt go his way, and he always congratulated the other team and the refs after the games.
    Ater always plays with this swagger, not an arrogance, but a quiet confidence that he’s going to do what it takes for them to win- they didnt always and they didnt even make the playoffs that year.
    But he earnt the respect of the coaches, players and officials wherever he played and always did so with a big grin Mike Harris style.
    The one shining moment that I’ll always remember about Ater was the heart that he palyed with. His team didnt always win, but every game he played at over 100%, coming back afterwards with floor burns from diving for loose balls, scratches all over his neck, arms and back from being constantly hacked and battered by guys. Thanks for reading Lang. Appreciated.

  • http://nbaukfan.blogspot.com/ mat smith

    Living here in good ol’ England does not really lend itself to seeing much in the way of high quality school ball, but being a perveyor of great players like fine wine I scour the internet for diamonds in the rough, it’s not an easy way to view the game, but its what i’m geographically stuck with, anyway, in 2002 a friend of mine and myself were in a music chatroom talking about TOOL and he happened to mention their drummer played alot of BBAll, I answered “I love basketball” and he went on to tell me about a kid (manchild) called LeBron James, this was the 1st I had heard of “king” and no footage could be found ( hey YouTube did not exist then) but the name stuck in my head, and in 03 I even managed to download a St. Vincent – St. Mary High School game that ESPN2 had broadcast and some dude had captured, I remember hearing the grating tone of Dick Vitale now “this Kid is a genuine phenom” what I “witnessed” blew me away, truly a man amongst boys, later I managed to see the McDonald’s All-American game, and some sickening Dunk contest footage that proved this was no fake player, it was obvious to me then the leap to the “L” would be a smooth and high flying one, in his senior year James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals for the season a pretty decent stat sheet I thought.
    So although it may be an obvious choice, it is a simple fact that LeBron is the best high schooler I have ever seen, and also In June 2008, James donated $20,000 to a committee to elect Barack Obama, so he definately gets my vote.

  • http://nbaukfan.blogspot.com/ mat smith

    (there was no possible way I could have seen a game in person but wanted to play along anyway ;) )

  • Boing Dynasty

    Dave hoppla.

  • http://www.theultimatehoopschallenge.com Miguel “OffTheMeter” Rodriguez

    Where do I start with such a loaded question? It’s like asking who’s the #1 rapper of all-time. I told the wife I want to win this thing so I’m in the office putting this together.
    I’m a CHSAA alum (no not Colorado I would vote for Chauncy if I saw him play at GW or my little brother Sean Ogirri from Denver East 2004) but NYC is where this vote is headed St.Raymonds class of 90). The late 80′s was a tremendous era in high school hoops. Everyone talks about Kenny Anderson who when he graduated was the all time points leader in NY until a Long Island Product Kenny White (Richmond first 15 seed to beat a 2 in Syracuse with Senior Kenny White leading the way 1993 or 94 tourney)broke Kenny’s record in 1990. Conrad McCray and his 40 plus point games. Roderick Rhodes, Bobby Hurley, Jerry Walker, Brian Reece and Adrain Autry of Tolentine, Jamal Mashburn (Hayes 90), how about Jamal Falkner (CTK) the 89 champs with the best backcourt I’ve ever seen in Khalid Reeves (Arizona) and Derrick Phelps (UNC).

    However the best player has to embody the total package. Not that some of these players who went on to play in the NBA did not posses these traits. But the heart of a champion, a fearless leader, the mystique of being the Captain and leading by example.

    My vote of the greatest high school basketball player I’ve ever seen was Malik Sealy of Tolentine HS (St.John’s and of the Twolves and Clippers of the NBA).

    During that mythical 1988 USA Today National Championship season I was able to watch many of the teams in New York City that season.

    2 games during that year would solidify my selection of Malik.

    Quaterfinals of the Bronx Manhattan Championships at Mt.St.Michael. A young chubby 6’8 sophomore with a flat top Jamal Mashburn and his Hayes team against the mighty wildcats of Tolentine. Jamal hit a few baskets and some words where said after a and1. Malik took mash to school in the paint and a blowout ensued. When the dust had settled Sealy had 29 in a balanced team effort and Mash went for 41.

    In the final 8 Mash’s Hayes team were bounced by a 67 point 17 3 pointer performance by Kenny White of Msgr Farrell.

    But in the Championship game. The most hyped, toughest ticket to Rose Hill Gymnasium since
    before I was born in 1971. Kenny Anderson and his Stanners of Molloy against the #1 team in the country the Tolentine Wildcats. The Tolentine team was loaded but they were going against the #1 player in the country since 8th grade in Junior Kenny Anderson. The electricity was in the air and you could cut the tension with a knife. The JV title game had just ended and Rose Hill which I believe is the oldest hoops facility in the country.

    The game went back and forth a few dunks by Tolentine and Molloy’s Rob Werdan who had a 5 inch height advantage over Malik hit a few bunnies. But a key block mid way through the third quarter got the Wildcats on a run that Molloy and Kenny A couldn’t withstand and Tolentine who had 7 Division 1 players on that team Malik, Jerome Holmes (Xavier), Sophmores Brian Reece (Unc) and Adrian “Red” Autry(Cuse) were also on this team. I can say that in watching games all over the country. This has to be the biggest High School game I ever witnessed by the best High School Baller I’ve ever seen.

    RIP Malik….

    Miguel “OfftheMeter” Rodriguez

  • jmoon

    Michael Wright.. straight outta Kapuskasing? Personally, best baller I’ve seen. He may not be a High School Mcdonalds All-American, or in a Division I school heading for the pros, but this guy changed the complexity of our town and it’s something to take in and admire.

    Coming from a small Northern Ontario town (close to 750km north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada), hockey was the number one sport. Hockey was life. It felt like people didn’t even know if any other sports existed. It was a cold winter day, and Michael Wright had just moved to town and was able to basically walked on to our Kapuskasing District High School team (they weren’t very good, hadn’t won a game in 5 years). I attended all games nonetheless, and also witnessed our first win! It was unbelievable. Wright scored a game-high 45 points, showing he knew what he was doing out there. Sooner then later, it seemed like more people were attending basketball games, everyone cheering this team on. Michael Wright wasn’t a very big guy, 6’5, but he showed he could hit contested threes, and soar for just some nasty dunks.

    That’s what brought people in, but what made them stay was his determination, his heart, his passion. Wright wasn’t all about himself either. He got our teammates involved as well (even though they were not very good at all). He showed that he cared for his teammates, but that’s what our town needed. Maybe i’m going off on the wrong page from what you were hoping for Lang, but I just wanted to show you another side of being “the best basketball player”. He brought our small town together. And for the first time, basketball was the number one sport in town.

    Sadly, Wright and his family left after two years, but I still think this was one of his most memorable stop offs. He wasn’t just playing for his team, he was playing for his entire town.

    Our town finally got out of their narrow-minded hockey mindset, and for the first time, got to witness the greatest sport on earth, basketball.

    Thanks Michael Wright. You changed our town forever.

  • kareem

    The best high school player i have seen in person has to have been Lance stephenson the kid cannot be stopped he is about 6,5 and built like a greek god to strong for any high school players in this generation and he is a guard. Lance had the complete package I remember the first time i saw him play last year as a junior he was destroying evryone in his way with his lightning quick first step and yoyo handle he has to be the most dominant player in high school basketball similar to lebron physically and simmilar to kobe with hia aura and the confidence you know he’s special before you even see him play. The man gave oj mayo 16 points as a freshman playing at abcd camp oj was a junior cant get any better then that

  • http://nsbacasakchbkl.com t.dot dude

    i would have to say beasley. he wasnt supposed to be the best (oj was ) but he just went all out every night, including the all american games, and thats why he is the best rookie in the NBA now.

  • http://nsbacasakchbkl.com t.dot dude

    sabastian telfair. slam thought he was the best, i thought he was the best, and we were all provin wrong. But this is the best high school player, not NBA

  • Marijn

    Rik. Smits.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    I’ve never seen any high school basketball. And over here in Saudi Arabia, hoops is as popular as pigs in a temple, so we don’t really have any basketball leagues. My best friend in high school, however, was a b-ball fiend. He was 6’4″, wore size 16 Webbers, and could freaking DUNK! I was so impressed with his aerial exploits that I started watching Bulls games with him and his brother. They would root for Jordan, while I pulled for whoever else was playing. He told me he was going to make it to the NBA, and I kinda thought that stranger things have happened. Who knows, right?

    (He’s now a computer programmer).

  • Jayy

    In person, the best player I’ve seen was Devoe Joseph. This dude played in the Nike Hoop Summit, representing Canada. Yes, I’m in Toronto, and he was domination. I’m pretty sure some of your have heard of his name. If not, check him out on YouTube. He now plays for Tubby Smith, he’s that good.

  • http://www.gmail.com.au Sharpe

    The best high school player i have seen over in Australia is either Todd Blanchfield or Brock motum both paticpating in AIS atm. They were amazing much better then the rest of the crowd
    plus there both manchilds… look for them in pro basketball one day

  • http://www.gmail.com.au Sharpe

    Or Jordan Page

  • Knucklehead

    damn just re-read what i wrote , i actually put he spinned off him , shouldve put he spun off him but o’ well

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The best high school basketball player I have ever seen live is my big brother Victor Dong. From my days as a kindergartener living by the projects of New York, my brother has taught me everything I know about the holy game.
    Since we were born, basketball has always ubiquitously been our hobby and passion. We had played our first pickup game at the old schoolyard across the street and from then on, we were hooked on both watching and playing ball. As long as we had a hollow-frame (anything from real hoops, baskets, crates, buckets, toys, garbage cans) and some sort of spherical object, we were out day and night playing ball. I remember one time during winter break, it was below freezing temperatures. During that day, we walked 3 miles to the nearest park just so we could find a decent court to play on. We spent about three glacial hours by ourselves in that park, until we finally decided to leave. When we returned, my cheeks had developed a layer of frost, my hands were frozen stiff, and I could barely move my numb little fingers. To us though, just being able to play was worth the sacrifice.
    Back in the 90′s, the Knicks were huge in our city. Therefore, having seen great shooters like Allen Houston and Reggie Miller (our rival Pacers played us a fair bit), we literally studied the jumpshot like an art-form.
    When I first saw my brother Victor play basketball, it wasn’t just sports. It was poetry in motion. His jumper was saucy smooth; I must have heard the swishing sound of the nylon more times than Bill Cosby’s dropped babies. His handles were so adept that his fingers became nimbler than a piano player’s (funny thing is, we did learn to play the piano). His hands were so quick that he could swipe the badge off a crooked cop’s uniform… and not end up like Rodney King.
    My brother Victor is one of the most versatile guards that I have ever seen play in a high school game. He could pull up and wet a jumper in the face of the best defenders, or he could bait the defenders one way, switch over and bank the ball from literally anywhere on the court. One of his favorite players growing up, and even now is Allen Iverson, which definitely helped shape some of the style that he played with.
    He was virtually unstoppable. If you played my brother tight, he would break your ankles with a killer crossover. If you gave him space, he would drain the step back J like it was water. Another aspect of the game my brother possessed was court vision. He could spot an open man from a mile away and hit him with the niftiest of passes. His assists were well placed and rarely did I ever see him commit a turnover.
    One of the things that Victor did, which drove the other schools’ defenses nuts was how he penetrated their interior. With his killer crossovers, wrap-arounds, and quick hop steps, he would split whatever defense they threw at him like a samurai sword through butter. It was like a walk in the park for him to drive to the cup and finger roll the pill for an easy deuce.
    When I was in the bleachers, watching him scramble the opposing defense like eggs, I was blown away at how eloquent he was on the court. He was so confident with the ball, so gracefully cool that the leather sphere seemed almost an accessory to him, brighter than any jewellery you can find. It was like jazz, so carefree and natural, that seeing him play basketball reminded me of the late Miles Davis, in particular one of my favourite songs entitled “So What”. You have your basic theme, with Paul Chambers plucking away at his bass with Jimmy Cobb on the kit. However, throughout the piece are amazing scattered solos by Davis himself, as well as the late great John Coltrane on alto sax. Likewise, with my brother, his basic theme on the court was putting the ball in the basket. However, he was so versatile and exciting to watch, that each separate point he put on that scoreboard was in itself a beautiful, creative solo, more significant to me than any horns could produce. I use this analogy of musical legends because to me, my brother was THAT great and even more influential to me.
    My brother Victor was and still is a great role model and influence to me. He has taught me everything I know about this beautiful game we call basketball. Not only was he motivating me with hoops, he was and still is inspiring me academically and musically. Keep in mind that we are two of the biggest hip hop heads you’ll ever meet, and that while we played basketball almost every day of the week during his high school years, he maintained an overall average of over 95% in school.
    Others will probably tell you how they saw an NBA player like Jamal Mashburn during his high school years, or how they caught a glimpse Sebastian Telfair, back when he was a real prodigy. However, if I said the same thing, I would be first of all a liar, and second, a repetitive motor. Instead, I saw someone play who is more influential to me, more special to me, and certainly more important to me than any of those guys. If I do happen to win, it will have been in dedication to my brother Victor, who perpetually inspires me on and off the court, while continuing to do incredible things with his life.

  • kempovermj

    Growing up in Alaska, I wasn’t exposed to many high school phenoms. The most memorable experience I have is when I went to see Trajan Langdon play while he was at East High. Some of the amazement can be attributed to how young I was, but he was a bad dude nonetheless. I vividly remember him pulling from wherever he wanted to, and looking bored while doing it. Watching someone from Anchorage play at a school like Duke was always cool, but I wasn’t mad seeing El-Amin kill em’ in ’99.

  • jboogie33

    amanda jonhson, she went to a high school near santa rosa i forgot which one, she is goin to oregon now, she was a player who could do everythin she was like 6 foot 1 and she could hit trey’s all day she killed when she play agianst my high school, she dominated every team she play she scored like 26 and it was one of her bad games

  • Weston

    Growing up in Texas, the sport was always football. Until one fateful day I moved next to the most influential baller I’ve ever seen. Whether in the streets or on the court, Noble Madu basketball abilities demanded respect. Besides football and college and NBA basketball I never saw much of high school basketball. After watching Noble play the game, with such enthusiasm, It changed my whole perspective. As Noble is only 5’9″ he is much shorter than his opponents, but he still blocks, steals, and scores at will. Not to mention the best ballhandling I’ve ever seen. Now as this all seems to good to be true, he is still only 16. Soon he will be dunking also at will. So as you try to think of the best highschool basketball player, think of Noble Madu, even at 16 he’s still beating players 23 and in college. He will be whatever he wants to be, and I believe that is the greatest NBA player the basketball world has ever seen.

  • AJ Kassem

    The best highschool ball player I’ ve seen is Juniour Cadougan, this summer i witnessed him lead his team to victory in a double over time lead to compton magicin the super 64 (a tournament of the 64 best teams in the nation). Cadougan is a 5’10 190 pound seniour that can run up and down the court forever, he is lightening quick and can make mind blowing passes, never was his size a set back. the powerful Canadian has opened the door for many others to come through like Tristan Thompson. He is being scouted by the top teams in the nation such as, Texas, USC, UNC etc. but has chosen Marquette, now how many Canadians do you know that have gotten scholarships to top university in the U.S. (only a handful) and how many 5’10 190 pounders have gone on to even play D.1, (none of what i know of other then him)

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    The best high school cat I’ve ever seen play in person? Toddrick Nelson aka silent kill. Why do they call him that? Because dude never talks smack, doesn’t brag or boast on his skills, and he never demeans his teammates. He just goes out there ever night to kill his opponents with his game. He is a senior right now and he plays for my high school, Northwest Rankin in Jackson, Mississippi. He stands at about 6-3 and weighs like 190. He plays the two and the three(my high school lacks what you call height, tallest guy on our team is 6-7)and he can man the post when need be. I remember the first time I watched Todd was in the 7th grade when our eighth grade team was playing our school rival, Brandon. Todd was our center back in eight grade and I remember the first play of the game he tipped the ball to the point guard, got the rock back, and crossed three cats before laying it in reverse style for the and-one. I was amazed because at that time, my coach would always tell me, “Boy, post players don’t dribble the damn ball!” “That’s what the point guards for!” He scared me out of my mind because I was a post player at the time(I’m now a whopping 5-10 now people) and I never wanted to dribble because I knew that wasn’t my job. But with Todd, he was the main post guy we had and he dribbled like A.I. and CP3 combined together. He would lead the break, he would dish the ball to the point guard for a three, and he would rack rebounds like Rodman himself. I remember looking at that game just in amazement as Todd would either pull up from three or do a quick hesitation to get all the way to the rim. That night Todd had 36 points…and he was in the eighth grade. As he went into high school he got some burn as a freshman but his sophmore year, he took it to a whole nother level. The “silent kill” now started varsity and he was averaging 20 a night on dudes. and that year he finally learned how to dunk with authority. I still have old game tapes of Todd just doing the nasty to slow big men as he would just blow by them with his speed and how he would back down little guards and shoot a Micheal Redd fadeway. I say Micheal Redd because I believe Todd is a better left hand shooter than Micheal Redd. Left hand shooters are always so gangsta because it’s like they are just slinging the ball instead of shooting it. Todd shoots like that and it looks so pretty that you would think dude never misses. Last year Todd was our leading scorer at 19 a game and he averaged 7 rebounds to go with it. Let me repeat that dude is 6-3. This year I expect Todd to get some scholarship offers as he has never really played AAU because he doesn’t feel that he needs it. Todd will lead us to victory this year and our season rest on his shoulders. No one in the state can guard the man seeing that during our summer league when we played half our state, he was dropping forty in at least 5 games. Todd is the truth. He is like our Monta Ellis. People are sleeping on my man and I hope scouts wake up and smell the coffee. All I have to say is that Todd aka “silent kill” gave a little kid named Devontae Palmer hope that a post player could ball just like a point guard and still do his job. thanks todd. play wit it.

  • lawrence moten

    Jonathon Hargett was completely unstoppable

  • http://www.lifehoopsthoughts.blogspot.com the baconator

    Growing up in a really small town in New York, I rarely ever get to see any good high school ballers. When I say small, I mean “140 kids in my class” small. But the best player I’ve ever seen ball would be Wilson Rose. Will played two years ago and was part of a varsity team that went 20-0, eventually making it to the 2nd round of sectionals before losing. That entire team was special, but there was something different about Will. He was only 6’3″, but since this team was even smaller (height-wise) than DP’s, he had to play center. This guy was a beast of a player- not only was he physically strong, but also fearless. I remember so many times he would soar out of nowhere for the alley-oop dunk; in fact, our coach even had a play just for that oop. I was a freshman at the time, so during jv/varsity scrimmages I sometimes would get stuck guarding him. Will would score every which way, with either hand. Coach once wanted to test the varsity, so he had them go 5 on 8 against us jv’s. Will dribbled the entire length of the court and threw down a two-handed dunk over us. He ended up being league co-mvp and won bunches of other awards. Despite being a center, he also had a pretty nice range as well. If I had to sum all of Will’s playing into one memory, it’d have to be this one game where I helped my brother keep stats. Coach had him fill in a bubble for every point, rebound, etc a player scored in that category. By the end of the game, every single rebound bubble was filled in- 12 offensive, 12 defensive; 24 rebounds. Nowadays, Will plays for University of Rochester. He reffed our varsity summer league games and is still as amazing as ever. I don’t even care right about now if I win; there are some guys who deserve much more ink then they’ve gotten. Thanks SLAM for this opportunity to rep a truly great player

  • Double J

    Well simply put, I haven’t watched any “big name” high school athletes before, but I have played against some real talent while at my small school in Washington. It was the end of my senior year and we were about to play the eventual state champions. They had a player who was the number one scorer in our league, I was number two. A lot of people from my area hyped up the matchup, and I kind of fell into it. During the game I knew he had me… he was smoothe. Seemingly floating from one end to the other he easily knocked down a three while I had what I thought to be a pretty good lock on him defensively. When he wasn’t happy with the shot he had, he’d easily dish it inside to get one of his big men some play. Guy had skills, he finished with 27, I had 9. Never been so outplayed before in my life. Aaron Vandegraff, I’ll never forget that game.

  • air1rec

    Growing up in Baltimore there are a lot players that I had the privilage of seeing play. As a freshman in high school I got a chance to watch the great Dunbar team of 83 muggsy bogues, reggie williams, reggie lewis, etc. My cousin James Bruce led the city in scoring at Douglass that year. While in high school Sam Cassell was also doing his thing too. There was a cat at my school Southern named Craig Tyson this dude had major hops and was headed to N.C. State to play for Jimmy V. but ran into academic problems went the Juco route and ended up at Arkansas but tore his knee up not once but twice. After I got of school. There was a tournament that was held in B-more that assembled some the best high school talent. It was called

    The Charm City Classic. The first year it was off the hook, You had Dunbar which at the time was the No.1 team in the country with Donta Bright, Mike Lloyd,and Keith Booth, St. Anthony’s with Roderick Rhodes, St. Raymond’s with Dana Dingle and a small spark plug of a guard that many know up in the rucker at “the best kept seceret” that’s right Kareem Reid. Simon Gratz made the trip up 95 with a young dude by the name of Rasheed Wallace. Sheed dunked on my chick who was like 6-8 and then laughed and called him chicken little, they even had another cat on the roster at that time you all know as “AO” that’s right Arron Owens of And1 fame. What I’m trying to say is that over the years of this tournament’s existence the best of the best came to B-more Ron Mercer and Oak Hill, Steph and Lincolin, Felipe Lopez, Demarr Johnson, and some others that graced our city. But Baltimore, we represented over the years too, Kevin Simpson led Southern High to a final ranking of No.2 in the country but it all started at The Charm City with his 31 point performance and lock down d on Felipe Lopez. Shawnta “Nut” Rogers led Lake Clifton Damon Cason who teamed with Kevin Simpson Kwame Evans was a role player on that team before he did big things at GW. Mark Karcher was the next big thing in B-more at the time. He even hit a big time three to upset the top ranked team in the courty Mt. Zion who Had a guy who was the No. 1 ranked high school player and to me the greatest high school player that I ever saw Tracy Mcgrady.

  • Tyler Whitcomb

    Drew Neitzel or Thomas Kilgore.

    I was a 9th grader at Union High school in Grand Rapids, MI and the city league was amazing in the early 90′s. We had one team with 3 division 1 players and Geno Carlisle that eventually played for the Portland Trailblazers. Other City league teams had talent everywhere and Thomas Kilgore led the city league with 30.5 ppg and when we played Ottawa Hills and they were ranked the number 1 team in the state, class A Thomas stuck them for 48 points and a huge upset. Thomas was absolutely amazing and I will always remember him. When I got older I started recruiting and rsaw some great talent, but I was looking for UCO talent and saw great players, but none as good as Drew Neitzel. Drew scored and passed and basically controlled the game from start to finish. He won Mr. Basketball thatbyear and when they met Joe Crawford and Malik Hairstaon’s detroit team in the State final four, he gave them 36 points and the crowd was cheering mr. basketball.

  • http://slamonline My opinion matters

    best high school player I have ever seen in person was Isiah Swann. He played for Magruder which is in Maryland (Montgomery county). In the state championship he singlehandley beat a defending champion Eleanor Roosevelt team which had Delonte West and Eddie Basden. Delonte couldn’t do nothing with him…he had 30 something and he was just a sophomore at the time. He then went to the Oak hill (he was the guy guarding lebron in the national high school game when they beat oak hill by 20) and then to Florida state..now he’s playing overseas but that was a great game to watch!

  • Ken

    This is the best thread I’ve ever seen on SLAM. Thank you to everybody for sharing.

  • Keith

    The best High Shool Player I Seen Play Was Brandon Triche He’s A Senoir Guard From Upstae New York Who Play For James-Ville Dewiit High School.The Kid Is A Straight Up D1 Prospect He Won The New York State Championship And Should Return This Year. When I See Him Play I Wish I Was In His Shoes, He Can Pass, Dribble, Shoot And Dunk Like No Other. This Kid Is Supposed To Something Like The next Lebron As Other Poeple Call It…How Many Player Do You Know Come Back from An ACL Injury And win A State ChampionShip??? This Kid Is The Best Player In Upstate New York

  • Xavier Walker

    The best highschool baller I’ve ever seen was my former teammate from Detroit Renaissance H.S. in detroit Tajuan Porter. This guy could do anything despite his size. He now plays PG for the Oregon Ducks. He left his mark on Detroit PSL basketball with two state titles and one city title. He shared the first championship with NBA draftpicks Joe Crawford and Malik Hairston. As a sophmore Tajuan hit a floater to beat Greg Oden’s Lawrence North team. As a junior he went head to head with Alex Legion and hity a lefty floater with about 2 seconds left. As a senior Tajuan went head to head with Manny Harris and Sherron Collins, scoring 36 in a loss, before leading Renaissance to their second State Title. What makes Tajuan great is his will to prove people wrong who doubt him because of his size. Tajuan is a game time player who steps up when challenges are presented.

  • perrie

    Best highschool baller i’v seen is a guy called sidiq kahn. The reson he is so good is his speed, one minute he’s infront of you anf d the next he’s gone by you and about three other people to get to the hoop. Also heis only 5’10 and iv ssen him dunk on a 6’9 guy!!!!He is a great shooter and can gunn it all day.

  • Carlos Rhodes

    well one of the best ive seen..lived right up the street from me…his name is donte greene…hes a pretty good player..he has a gurad like play..but hes 6’9 or around that height…we pretty much grew up together…he went to southwest academy(middle school)…at that time he played for edreco..a rec league..i eventually played…then he attended towson catholic..where his team played my team…woodlawn high school..team name warriors…it was just last year…i can remember so vivid….the tip off..then donte gets the ball and the first play is a dunk..everyone goes wild..then he taunts the crowd…its just a thrill to watch him play..going threw all that adversity at a young age…mother died..then he was living with grandparents…where they still live up the street from me…now awaiting is is little brother,who now attends towson catholic….to me hes not only the best high school player i ever seen..but a motivation…and inspirtation…anything can happen in this world..just believe…and not limit yourself….

  • TJ

    The best highschool player i’ve ever seen play has got to be Mike Rosario. I went to a St. anthony’s game and saw him, he was AMAZING! Hes got a great handle and a great jumpshot. One trait that i saw in him was his defensive intensity. I think thats a very valuable trait. Some of these phenoms are al about me, me, me, but not him. I believe that is one of the traits that will put him above the bar. Thats why i chose to write about Mike Rosario

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Canada really represents on Slam. I didn’t realize that.

  • CG

    Up here in canada we don’t really get all the hype about highschool players and the great ones are hard to come by. But there was one guy by the name of Devoe Joseph, went to pickering high. He was part of the best back court in canada history. This man could turn you inside out step back 3 ball. He had range like the cold crisp air of canada, way below 0. I remember he came to my friends school, and i was expecting a close game, devoe lit them up! His best performance was at the OFSSA finals, the finals for the best team in Ontario, kinda like state champs. So it was pickering vs eastern commerance. The two premier schools. Tight game throughout the whole game, devoe showing off his game. At the end of the game devoe delievered. Hitting a game winner at the foul line. One of the best clutch shots i have seen. And now…Devoe is playing in the NCAA D1, for Minnesota. Hopefully one day he will be in the NBA and rep the GTA.

    PLUS+ game footage of the gamer winner


  • CG

    PS: Canada has ballers, don’t sleep on the North

  • http://ballislife Derek

    The best highschool basketball player i have ever seen is Deion mitchell he’s about 6’1 and 175 pounds and he plays point guard. its amazing to watch him ball, everytime I see him make one of his slashing drives to the basket I hold my breath and wait to see who will be posterized. He plays with a quiet ferociety and intensity unmatched by anyone, and you can tell that he really loves and plays the game for himself and without the slashing moves pinpoint passes, and wet in your face jumpers he would be nothing. But with them he is amazing.

  • http://www.haywardbasketball.com Anthony

    I was in the sixth grade and my Dad used to drive my brother and I all over the bay to watch high School basketball games. I will never forget watching JASON KIDD destroy his opponents nightly. He would score but I remember him doing it all, passing, rebounding and definitely defending and getting steals. J Kidd was averaging a triple double and almost a quadruple double all through high school. And he was not plaing against weak teams. He played in St. Joes a very small school that was Division 1 at the time and I remember going to the State Championships two years in a row at the Oakland Arena and there were more people then when we went to the Warrior games! I watched him in College at Cal and have followed him in all his NBA journey. Jason Kidd is the best player to watch period! I also went to school with Eddie House and he was having 40 point games and shooting the lights out, I watched Devon Hardin dunk on everyone, I watched Leon Powe dominate, but J KIDD hands down is the best High School player I ever watched in person.

  • http://www.haywardbasketball.com Anthony

    Had to add that I watched a set of twins dominate basketball in 2004. They did not win state titles but both got Division 1 scholarships to Oklahoma. These two killed and I know they will be in the WNBA soon. The Paris Twins, Courtney and Ashley. I remember in the Nor-Cal (Northern California) Championships they were grabbing rebounds, blocking shots, and scoring at will. Ref’s were letting them get beat up because they were so big and that didnt even slow them down.

  • BostonBaller

    This cat named Tony Crook who went to a small high school in Roxbury, MA was the best defensive player never to be heard of. He would lock down point guards like Rumeal Robinson (Michigan then NBA, Shooting Guards like Dana Barros (BC then NBA) and Centers like Patrick Ewing (GTown then NBA. This cat would get 15+ boards, a few steals, 5 or so dimes, 3 or so blocks, 10 to 15 points w/out plays called for him and take a couple of charges every game. His finger roll rivaled the Iceman’s and some called him the Quiet Assassin. In the Summer leagues he played alongside the best in the city and always started and more importantly ALWAYUS finished every game he played in.

  • BostonBaller

    Did I mention that this Crook guy was 6’1 and skinny? He has a gut now but can still shut ‘em down pretty good. lol.

    Dwayne “Pearl” Washingtion was also amazing.

  • Korey Harris

    The best high school baller I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes would have to be Josh Smith. And I’m talkin about vintage J-Smooth before the Oak Hill hype! Before he transfered to Oak Hill academy, he went to McEachern High and played with Morris Almond(Utah Jazz). I was only an 8th grader when I saw him play, but it was like watching a grown man playing against children at a cookout. He played every position (yes he could shoot & handle the rock in HS) and averaged a double/double against guys two to three years older. Not to mention, he was windmilling from free throw at 16. Hands down… No disrespect Morris, but J-Smooth runs P-Town, GA. Gone.

  • http://myspace.com/sdstreetsk8r Brandon Thole

    I was in the second semester of my sophomore year at Madison high school in San Diego. I had witnessed who i thought was the best high school baller in SD at the time. This cat goes by the name of Tyrone Shelley if im not mistaken, from Crawford High School in San Diego. You could tell he was good. He was athletic, flashy, and his intensity just beamed greatness. When he walked in people stared at him and whispered. I could tell he was going to be the highlight man from the get go. This athletic gaurd powered to the hole on each defender. If he was the big bad wolf, the brick house would have fell down this time! The relentless player would find a way to get a teammate or himself open. He had a real nice jumper, too. I thought that was the most noticable thing about his game. He wouldn’t hesitate to shoot, and wasnt afraid of contact. Pretty much a solid player all around, with great height and vertical advantage. He made basketball look easy and it seemed like second nature to him. He wouldn’t skip a beat hustling back on D and just put his all into every second he played. I think he scored 58 on Madison that game. Just the energy he showed once he stepped on the court was transported to everybody else on his team. He uplifted his team with communication and help on offense and defense. I’m pretty sure he plays for San Diego State, i know he played for Pepperdine last season.
    It’s amazing how one player can have such an impact on a game. His compassion, respect, dedication and hard work inspired me a lot. Watch out for this cat yo! He’s definitely gonna be something someday!

  • Marcus Grant

    The best high school ball player i have witness,was no other than John Wall. I went to school with him at broughton high, and until this day we are still cool.Me and him during my junior wanted to try out for the team at our school,but turned out that none of us has ever made it.Then i heard my boy left to Word of God Christian Academy,i seen him play against Mount Zion…n i got to tell u,my boy was a beast, catchin the ball off the backboard for a slam,comin down the lane with his quickness,his smooth crossover that i try all the time,…i knew someday,that he was going to make something of himself,just by the way he played.Cause wen i saw him,it was like watchin Derrick Rose play in the Final Four.But, like i said…John is a gifted kid,alot of people only dream on being in his shoes rite now,but no one can possibly back it up…im sure he has alot of haters hatin on him and talkin junk,but theres a difference between John and any other player…he just plays his game,and he never wants to lose.He will always strive to get better in try to work on his weaknesses and make them alot better.There was another game that i WISH that i was there to see it,but it was around Christmas time and i was in california….John Wall played in the GFK..GKS Tournament down at Broughton against point guard Larry Drew from Taft.I heard that he was a monster in that game,and lots of folks couldnt stop talkin about him.The fans actually wouldnt stop following him,until he got on the bus to leave back home.But as of now,im still cool with John and his sister Ciara,i say hello once awhile everytime i past by them, and when i say hello to John,im amazed on how much he grown from us just meetin at Broughton..to where he is now.Everytime i look at John now,theres only one motive thats goin through my mind…”dont be his equal,be better than him.”Even tho im already in college(freshmen at Elizabeth City State),i still wont give up, until i become just like him and even greater someday.So the only to do is pick up a ball and just work on my game….just ike how John Wall inspired me.

  • T Bone

    coming from the
    UK the guys i saw play/played against you may not have heard about…. except for Neil Finckleton. this guy was 7ft at age 14 and grew to about 7’6″! didnt really have anything going for him other than being able to dunk without jumping. we often beat his team, but he did end up going to an American HS. he was even mentioned in SLAM once… although that was actually about how 5’10″ Andre Barrett had averaged more rebounds than him during one of these summer camps! he ended up going to UNC (of all places) but i dont think he even lasted a year there!
    surely i win?

  • http://citypaper.net/sports James Beale

    @ Ron, Reese Rice did make LBJ fall in that forth quarter. Don’t forget.

  • DennLive

    I suppose it’s too late to enter this, but I’ll give it try anyway. On top of that i might just go get my copy autographed by the director later today.
    Anyway, I didnt go to many High School Games, but i did see Keon Clark play at MSG. He was a MAN playing with the boys out there. it was amazing to think i was seeing a guy thats about to get drafted. We all know he didnt do much, but still…I also played pick up ball with Felipe Lopez once in HS, but I’m not counting that one as seeing him actually play.

  • DennLive

    Whoa…that was a major slip…i knew his name started with a “K”…I meant KORLEONE YOUNG

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Time’s up. Closing comments now. We’ll announce a winner soon on The Links…

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