High School Hierarchy: 26-30
SLAMonline ranks the top pro-producing high schools of all time.
29. Murrah High School, Jackson, MS
NBA Players Produced: Mo Williams, Othella Harrington, Lindsey Hunter, Trey Johnson, Ryan Lorthridge, James Robinson
Combined Experience: 46 seasons
NBA/ABA Championships Won: 2
All-Star Appearances: 1
Hall of Famers: 0
Total Points: 53
Murrah High School is situated right in the heart of SEC football country. But, despite that region of the country’s obvious love for the game of football, Murrah has created a small basketball powerhouse that stands on its own, thanks to contributions from legendary coaches like Osmond Jordan, who is in the state’s Hall of Fame, and coached many of Murrah’s greats.
And although Murrah’s basketball program has been in the news lately for some unwanted attention due to some heavy handed alleged punishments by the current coach, there is still no denying what the school has contributed to basketball. Among Murrah’s NBA contingent are three guys — Mo Williams, Lindsey Hunter and Othella Harrington — who have been very steady players on good teams throughout their careers. Murrah’s guards, Williams, Hunter and James Robinson, all were good but undersized scorers collegiately.
You’ve probably heard of: Mo Williams has proven to be one of the best second-round picks of the last 10 years. Williams was cut from Utah, the team that drafted him, after one season, but he caught on in Milwaukee, first as a valuable reserve providing offense off the bench and eventually as the team’s starting point guard next to Michael Redd.
Don’t forget about: With a nickname like ‘Hollywood,’ James Robinson undoubtedly had a flashy game. Robinson followed up his standout high school career at Murrah by becoming a big-time scorer at Alabama, playing with Latrell Sprewell and Robert Horry.
Robinson was a first-round pick by Portland, and pegged for a key role by the Blazers in his second season, when Portland traded legend Clyde Drexler midseason and moved Robinson into the starting lineup. Robinson, however, never found the scoring prowess in the NBA he had in college and Portland eventually traded him to Minnesota for JR Rider.
Robinson lasted seven seasons in the NBA, playing for four different teams.
Mo Williams on Murrah: “The history is just on another level. Being that it’s in a little town, Jackson, MS, a lot of people wouldn’t look at our city or our school as an elite basketball school, but we’ve proven it over the years, producing McDonald’s All-Americans galore, players that went on and had great collegiate and professional careers. We’ve done a great job as a school of developing players.
“My favorite memories are just when I was in school, the guys before me, the Lindsey Hunters, the Othella Harringtons, those guys coming back while we were there. They were in the NBA at the time, and they’d still come back to the high school, sit in the stands at our games and support the new group of young players. They just always gave that support and set that tone for me to come back and support the school also [after making it to the NBA].
“It’s great to get back and play some pickup games with the guys when I get some time off. It was great for me because when I was in school there, there happened to be a NBA lockout, so those guys had a lot of time on their hands and were at a lot of games. And it’s looking like we might be in a position again soon with another lockout this year, so I’ll be getting to a lot of games and I’ll be supporting the team with gear and shoes and doing the same things that those guys did for us when I was at Murrah.
“It’s football country, there’s no question about it, but if you look at the basketball players that not only my high school has produced, but the south in general, we’ve produced a lot of players in that Gulf Coast area, and we’re proud of it. I’m very proud of my high school.”