College Basketball Recruiting: 20 Best High School/Prep Programs of All Time

Brandon ReiterCorrespondent IIMay 9, 2012

College Basketball Recruiting: 20 Best High School/Prep Programs of All Time

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    While college may be the first stage the general public sees of an NBA player's career, there is much more behind a player's journey to the NBA.

    There are plenty of similarities between high school and college basketball that go unnoticed and underappreciated. High school basketball is an important step in every player's career. Attending the right high school can put a talented basketball player on the right path.

    Over the history of basketball, certain programs have stood out for their ability to produce players who can make it to the NBA. It is no coincidence when the same program has multiple alumni reach the top level of basketball. This list will examine which high schools have been the best at molding their talent into NBA-caliber players.

Schools 16-20

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    20. Skyline High School (Gary Payton)

    19. Crenshaw High School

    18. Erasmus High School (Billy Cunningham)

    17. Detroit Pershing

    16. Lansing Everett High School (Magic Johnson)

    These five schools have either had a big name, or at least five players reach the NBA. 

15. Carver Military Academy

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    Notable Alumni: Tim Hardaway

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 6

    Location: Chicago, IL

    Carver alumnus Terry Cunningham was on pace for a Hall of Fame career until an ankle injury turned him into a role player for the remainder of his career. He was averaging about 21 points and nine rebounds before the injury.

    Tim Hardaway set the precedent for speedy point guards. His speed and agility has provided a huge spark to the game.

14. Dominguez High School

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    Notable Alumni: Dennis Johnson, Tyson Chandler, Tyshaun Prince

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 4

    Location: Compton, CA

    Dominguez has brought three very high talented players to the NBA with Johnson, Chandler, and Prince. Also, their alumni list includes Cedric Ceballos, whose blindfolded jam in the dunk contest had props banned in the contest.

    Obviously, that was only a temporary ban, as players use almost everything imaginable in the dunk contest today. Maybe a present-day prop ban wouldn't be such a bad idea.

13. Lasalle Academy

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    Notable Alumni: Ron Artest, Dick McGuire

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 7

    Location: New York, NY

    Dick McGuire and his brother Al are the only pair of brothers to be inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame.

    LaSalle is also known for its loud gym. It is considered one of the hardest places to play in NYC. 

12. Central Hower High School

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    Notable Alumni: Nate Thurmond, Gus Johnson.

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 4

    Location: Akron, OH

    While only four NBA players came out of Central Hower, not many high schools can make the claim that they have had two Hall of Famers come out of their school.

    Nate Thurmond's talent is overshadowed because he played in the same era as Russell and Wilt. He was an elite center in the early years of the NBA.

11. Boys High School

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    Notable Alumni: Mel Davis, Connie Hawkins, Lenny Wilkens

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 4

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Boys High School has produced two Hall of Fame players in Connie Hawkins and Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens was one of the best point guards of his generation. After his playing days, he experienced a great deal of success as a coach, grabbing the most wins for an NBA head coach until Don Nelson surpassed him. 

    Connie Hawkins is the model for the high flyers of the NBA. He had the ability to bring a crowd to its feet with an insane dunk. 

10. Power Memorial Academy

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    Notable Alumni: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 5

    Location: NY

    Despite closing in 1983, PMA is regarded as one of the most dominant basketball programs of all-time.

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, led the team to 96 wins in four years, including a 71-game winning streak. The 1964 team was noted as the best high school basketball team of the century. 

9. Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School

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    Notable Alumni: Mugsy Bogues, Sam Cassel, Reggie Lewis

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 9

    Location: Baltimore, MD

    Len Bias is not the only tragedy that the Boston Celtics have had to endure. After missing the 1993 playoffs due to collapsing on the floor of Game 1, Reggie Lewis collapsed a second time during a workout and died due to an undiagnosed heart condition. Lewis was supposed to be the force that would hold down the Celtics after their core stars retired. The Celtics did not win a championship until 2008. 

    On a lighter note, Dunbar also produced one of the stars for the movie Space Jam, Mugsy Bogues. Also, one of the ugliest people to play basketball, Sam Cassel, attended Dunbar (see picture).

8. McClymonds High School

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    Notable Alumni: Bill Russell, Paul Silas

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 7

    Location: Oakland, CA

    McClymonds High School has produced arguably the winningest person in sports history. Bill Russell hoisted eleven championship trophies with the Boston Celtics. 

7. Springarn High School

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    Notable Alumni: Dave Bing, Elgin Baylor, Sherman Douglas

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 6

    Location: Washington, DC

    DC is one of the most prolific areas of basketball in the country. There has been plenty of talent to come out of this area. Springarn features two Hall of Famers in Dave Bing and Elgin Baylor.

6. Proviso East High School

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    Notable Alumni: Doc Rivers, Michael Finley, Dee Brown

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 9

    Location: Maywood, IL

    The alumni of Proviso have done a good job of winning NBA titles recently. In 2007 Michael Finley won with the Spurs; in 2008 Doc Rivers won with the Celtics; and in 2008 and 2009 Shannon Brown won with the Lakers. Proviso has produced a solid number of NBA players over the course of its existence.

5. Laurinburg Institute

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    Notable Alumni: Sam Jones, Renaldo Balkman

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 12

    Location: Laurinburg, NC

    Laurinburg is one of the oldest historically black prep schools in the country. Sam Jones was the biggest name to come out, as he went on to win 10 championships alongside Bill Russell.

4. Overbrook High School

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    Notable Alumni: Wilt Chamberlain

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 11

    Location: Philadelphia, PA

    Overbrook is not only home to Will Smith, but also to the most statistically dominant player in the history of basketball, Wilt Chamberlain.

    Chamberlain is the holder of two unbreakable sports records: scoring 100 points in a single game and averaging over 50 points per game for an entire season. Wilt "the Stilt" went on to win two championships with two different teams. 

3. DeMatha Catholic High School

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    Notable Alumni: Adrian Dantley, Kieth Bogans, Sidney Lowe

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 14

    Location: Hyattsville, MD

    Dematha coach Morgan Wooten is one of three high school coaches to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. His team was most recognized for upsetting Lew Alcindor's Power Memorial Academy, ending their 71-game winning streak.

    Most of the players who made the NBA from DeMatha did not pan out, but 14 people is an impressive number no matter how you look at it.

2. DeWitt Clinton High School

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    Notable Alumni: Dolph Schayes, Tiny Archibald, Barney Sedran, Steve Sheppard 

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 19

    Location: Bronx, NY

    Clinton is one of the most well respected programs in one of the most well respected leagues. For over a century, Clinton has been a power in the Public Schools Athletic League, as they have produced a lengthy list of talented basketball players. 

    Fun fact: Dolph Schayes is the only Jewish basketball player to be honored on the NBA's list of the 50 greatest players.

1. Oak Hill Academy

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    Notable Alumni: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Josh Smith, Jerry Stackhouse

    Number of NBA Players Produced: 27

    Location: Mouth of Wilson, VA

    What separates Oak Hill from the rest of the schools on this list is that good players transfer in. Whatever way they achieve success, Oak Hill has found a way to be a factory for creating NBA players.

    Twenty-seven players have reached the professional level, and a decent portion of them have been All-Stars. Since 1976, Oak Hill has won 93 percent of their games, making it clear that they have established a unique style for success.

    For 13 straight years, they have been ranked top five nationally, proving that they are the most efficient high school basketball program of all time.