Bay Area Elite: 7 High School Stars Who Make the Bay Area America's Hotbed

Eric HampfordContributor IIIDecember 1, 2011

Bay Area Elite: 7 High School Stars Who Make the Bay Area America's Hotbed

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    Over the past few years, the Bay Area has had a resurgence in high school basketball. While they have always produced top-of-the-line talent and high school programs, most notably Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Oakland's McClymonds High School, the metropolitan area has largely flown under the radar as a basketball-rich area. 

    That has changed in the past few years with a steady flow of division one basketball talent. The culmination of the Bay Area's resurgence to the top of the basketball world is happening this year. It has seven prospects capable of playing in the NBA. 

    Along with brief descriptions about each player, you will find highlight tapes made by YayAreasFinest's Travis Farris and his team, which has helped give the best Bay Area basketball players national exposure. Enjoy...

7. Richard Longrus, Bishop O'Dowd High School

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    The 6'6" small forward is a lengthy prospect who utilizes his frame to dunk any ball he can get his hands on, as well as block any shot in his area. He also has above average handle for a player his size and plays the game with a laid-back demeanor no matter the situation.

    He is a terrific college prospect who could really blossom when he takes his game to Washington State next year. Right now, he is a fringe top 150 prospect in the United States. That ranking should improve now that he will be out of Brandon Ashley's enormous shadow at O'Dowd.

6. Langston Morris-Walker, Berkeley High School

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    The solidly built 6'5", 210-pound shooting guard/small forward is a prospect known for his explosive athletic ability. He is very good at attacking the basket, as well as pulling up for mid-range jump shots. He can guard multiple positions due to his athleticism, which also gives him a high basketball ceiling.

    Head coach Craig Robinson reeled in a big fish for his Oregon State 2012 class when he landed a commitment from the Berkeley, California native. As it stands, he is a top 150 player in the country, who has a very good chance of rising if he has a solid senior year season.

5. Stephen Domingo, St. Ignatius High School

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    The lanky, 6'6" shooting guard is possibly the best shooter in the junior class. He has a feathery jump shot, and when he is feeling it, is capable of torching any defense in the country. He uses his wirey frame to snatch rebounds, steals and pass deflections for his team. 

    He is a a top 30 prospect in the junior class, with the possibility of climbing as his game develops. Watch him play, and you'll see a bit of Reggie Miller in his game. He has a long way to go, but the potential is there.

4. Dominic Artis, Findlay College Prep

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    For his senior year, the 6'0" point guard has taken his game from Richmond, California to famed Findlay Prep to get better before he begins his college career. While he isn't the tallest prospect, he makes up for this with amazing handle, speed and ability to change direction.

    He also has long arms that help him on the defensive end of the floor. His game has really taken off in the past year. He's committed to the Oregon Ducks and will have an immediate impact in the Pac-12 next season, especially since Dana Altman's club lacks talented guards this season. In the class of 2012, he is a top 70 prospect.

3. Jabari Bird, Salesian High School

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    The former high school teammate of Dominic Artis at Richmond's Salesian High School, Jabari Bird projects as a better long-term prospect. The 6'6" shooting guard is a long and has a smooth jump shot, capable of hitting consistently from near the 3-point line. He is also an explosive athlete who thrives in transition. 

    Every popular basketball program in America is attempting to sign him, and for good reason. He is a nationally acclaimed top 10 recruit in the junior class, and his best basketball days are ahead of him.

2. Aaron Gordon, Archbishop Mitty High School

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    The 6'7" power forward/small forward prospect might be the second most athletic player in the country behind Georgia's Shaquille Johnson. He has basketball in his blood, being the younger brother of New Mexico star and NBA prospect Drew Gordon. The scary thing is, he may end up being better than his brother.

    He is a bouncy forward who is comfortable hitting mid-range jump shots, or attacking his defender from anywhere on the floor. He rebounds the ball well for his size, and if he polishes his jumper and fully transitions from the power forward to small forward, he will be a dangerous player. He is currently a top 5 prospect in the junior class.

1. Brandon Ashley, Findlay College Prep

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    The king of Bay Area hoops over the past few years has undoubtedly been former Bishop O'Dowd star Brandon Ashley. He has been a prospect on the radar of major college programs since he was a freshman in high school, and he is now taking his game to Findlay College Prep to play his senior year against top notch competition.

    The 6'8" power forward will be a star under Sean Miller at Arizona, and for many reasons. He is a broad-shouldered prospect who is very athletic, while using his bruising frame to batter his opponents underneath. He is a big time shot blocker and his jump shot is solid out to 18-20 feet. 

    It's scary how good he can become once he gets advanced coaching at the college level. He is a top 20 prospect in the 2012 senior class, and will join a loaded incoming freshman class next season at 'Zona.