Elite National League NIBC Formed by Oak Hill Academy, Top Boys HS Basketball Schools

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2021

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2020, file photo, then-Montverde Academy's Cade Cunningham (1) drives against an unidentified IMG Academy defender during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Oklahoma State could have a year to remember, even if it doesn’t end in the NCAA Tournament. Freshman point guard Cade Cunningham, a preseason Associated Press All-American, stayed at Oklahoma State despite the NCAA banning the Cowboys from postseason play this season. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)
AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File

The top high school boys basketball teams in the country are forming the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference as an elite national league to begin the 2021-22 season, according to Jeff Borzello and Paul Biancardi of ESPN.

The initial six teams include Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), Montverde Academy (Florida), IMG Academy (Florida), La Lumiere School (Indiana), Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas) and Wasatch Academy (Utah). Two more teams are expected to join.

The teams will play a 10-game regular season with a postseason tournament plus special NIBC events.

"The games will be intense because of the talent level, the national platform, as well as the scouting and preparation that goes into each game," Sunrise Christian coach Luke Barnwell said. "The standings keep everything competitive, and having a postseason championship will make it even more competitive."

Several of these teams have competed at the GEICO national tournament in recent years, with Montverde winning five titles since 2013. including its 2021 win over Sunrise Christian. Montverde also beat Sunrise Christian in the first-ever NIBC title game last season.

The Florida powerhouse has consistently been one of the top basketball programs in the country in recent years with NBA alumni like Ben Simmons, D'Angelo Russell and RJ Barrett plus potential future stars like Cade Cunningham and Moses Moody. Rising senior Jalen Duren is rated the No. 2 overall player in the 2022 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Montverde's Dariq Whitehead, IMG's Jarace Walker and Jaden Bradley, and Oak Hill's MJ Rice will also be among the big names to watch in next year's inaugural season.

These games could serve as a showcase for the top prospects against elite competition, likely drawing plenty of college coaches and NBA scouts to each game.