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High School Heroics, Part II

June 11, 2019 AT 12:00 AM

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The best five-star prospect factories in the land

In the past decades, players have begun to favor private school programs, seeking a system that is more focused on college preparation. These schools can sometimes provide quality training facilities, reminiscent of the top collegiate programs. On the flip side, the onus is on the school to secure never-ending funds, leading to heartbreaks such as the closure of the famed St. Anthony High School in New Jersey, which won a record-breaking 28 state championships and 4 national champions under the legendary Bob Hurley.

All-time titans: When it comes to high school basketball, Oak Hill Academy is almost always the first name that comes to mind. The squad has been flat-out dominant over the years, with teams so loaded that they have been labeled ‘unfair’. Coach Steve Smith swears by the isolated campus, which removes all distractions for their young talent. Every single Oak Hill Warrior is a collegiate prospect, with their nine national titles and notable alumni from Rod Strickland and Jerry Stackhouse in the early days to modern NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

The Virginia-based Hargrave Military Academy might be inclined to concur with Coach Smith on the perks of focus, instilling a disciplined boarding school environment while pumping out NBA players year after year, from Terry Rozier to the legendary Larry Brown. Newer institutions solely focused on hoops and collegiate prep have also emerged, such as Findlay Prep and Huntington Prep, while IMG Academy provides quality training and facilities across a range of sports.

Montverde Academy has taken over as the flavor of the decade however, assembling a top-ten roster each season that has featured Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell and current collegiate star RJ Barrett. The roster has been so stacked that Joel Embiid transferred out due to a lack of playing time.

Other traditional private school powerhouses include DeMatha from Maryland and California’s Mater Dei, producing top college players such as Markelle Fultz and Stanley Johnson, while a new wave of programs are stepping into the limelight. La Lumiere has enjoyed considerable success with young stars such as Jaren Jackson Jr., Brian Bowen and Tyger Campbell, while Sierra Canyon features a roster full of professional progeny like Scottie Pippen Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr. as well as top recruits Cassius Stanley and Amari Bailey.

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