Top 20 High School Basketball Recruits to See Play Before They Go to College

1 of 21

Top 20 High School Basketball Recruits You Have To See Play Before The Big Time

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Ah high school basketball.

What a wonderful thing. Some say it's the last true refuge for honesty in the game. However, some will argue that the prep basketball scene is as dirty and tainted as the college game.

Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, there's no denying it's always intriguing to see the big name prospects, who we know will go on to the NBA in a merely a year or two, playing against fellow high school prospects.

Remember seeing LeBron James and the St. Vincent-St.Mary High School basketball team take on Oak Hill Academy on ESPN? I sure do. It was fantastic seeing a guy who you knew was going to be a superstar playing with and versus fellow prep players. It's always fascinating to see those prospects play before they hit the big time.

Think about that- when our kids and grandkids ask if we ever saw King James play, we'll be able to say we saw that guy back when he was still in high school!

Think back to all the legends. How awesome would it have been to see Michael Jordan playing at Laney High School? What about Larry Bird at Springs Valley High School? Jerry West at East Bank High School?

I'm not saying one or even any of the players in this years class of prospects will ever amount to even a tenth of the caliber of player of the aforementioned players, but there's always a chance.

It's a fact- the next big star is out there right now. Who is it? No one can say for sure.

So without further ado, here's a list of twenty players you should see before they hit the big time. Some of these guys could be future hall of famers and some could be total busts- it's almost a toss up and that's what makes it so much fun to follow.

2 of 21

#20- Rondae Jefferson- Small Forward

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson, from Chester High School (PA), is a very versatile player at 6'7'' 215lbs. He's a very fluid player who adds value on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Jefferson has elected to play his college ball for the Arizona Wildcats.

3 of 21

#19- Bobby Portis- Power Forward

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'9'' 225lb Portis is one of the more raw talents in this class. He's a physical player in the post who has the skills to develop into a perimeter threat as well. Portis, from Hall High School in Little Rock (AR), is choosing to play for his home state Arkansas Razorbacks.

4 of 21

#18- Isaiah Hicks- Power Forward

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Hicks, a 6'8'' 210lb two-way forward, is simply a fantastic basketball player. Hailing from Oxford, North Carolina, Hicks has been racking up triple-doubles since his freshman year at Webb High School. Hicks is bound for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

5 of 21

#17- Tyus Jones- Point Guard

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'1'' 171lb point guard is still only a junior in high school, and arguably the most talented prospect in the class of 2014. The Apple Valley (MN) native is incredibly mature for his age, and is a true leader on the court- exactly what you look for in your point guard. As of now, Jones is still making up his mind on where he'll be playing college basketball in '14.

6 of 21

#16- Robert Hubbs- Shooting Guard

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Hubbs, from Dyer County High in Newbern (TN), is one of the high flyers of this class, known for his acrobatic dunks. The 6'5'' 185lb shooting guard is immensely gifted athletically, and will only get better as he gets older. Hubbs is choosing his home state Tennessee Volunteers over a plethora of other schools.

7 of 21

#15-Anthony Barber- Point Guard

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Barber, at 6'2'' 165lbs, might be the fastest player in this years class. It's doubtful anyone in the country can run with him from baseline to baseline, and he's ready to use every bit of that speed with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Barber, from Hampton, Virginia, should step in and contribute right away.

8 of 21

#14- Emmanuel Mudiay- Point Guard

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Mudiay (6'4'' 190lbs) is the top point guard in the class of 2014. Hailing from Prime Prep in Dallas (TX), Mudiay reminds some of a poor mans John Wall. He's a combo guard, who can both dish it and take it to the hoop. Currently uncommitted, Mudiay has offers from all the major players in the college basketball game.

9 of 21

#13- Jarrell Martin- Power Forward

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Martin, a 6'7'' 220lb power forward from Madison Prep in Baton Rouge (LA), is sticking with the hometown team LSU Tigers. Although he's listed as a power forward, he's got more of a small forward (or even shooting guards) frame. Martin has significant upside as a catch and shoot player, potentially thriving in a pick and roll offense.

10 of 21

#12- Dakari Johnson- Center

high school
Mike DiNovo- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'10'' 250lb Johnson, from Montverde Academy (FL), is the best center in the country for the 2013 class. While Johnson projects as more of a power forward in the NBA, he's certainly got the size/strength combination to play the 5 in college. Where's he headed next year? The answer might surprise you (dripping sarcasm)- the Kentucky Wildcats.

11 of 21

#11- James Young- Shooting Guard

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Young, a 6'6'' 210lb shooting guard from Rochester (MN) has decided to spurn his home state Minnesota Golden Gophers, electing instead to play for the Kentucky Wildcats (shocking). Young is one of the best pure shooters in the country, and is truly dynamic from behind the arc.

12 of 21

#10- Aaron Gordon- Small Forward

high school
Brett Davis- USA TODAY Sports

Gordon, from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose (CA) has become somewhat famous recently for his ridiculous dunks. Gordon, aside from his immense talent and versatility, is known for being a hustle player, always going a hundred miles an hour. At 6'8'' 210, Gordon could play either the 4 or the 3 in college. He's deciding between the Washington Huskies, Arizona Wildcats and Kentucky Wildcats (shocking).

13 of 21

#9- Jahlil Okafor- Center

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Okafor is the top player from the class of 2014. At 6'10'' 280lbs, Okafor almost looks like a defensive end. Long and powerful, Okafor could be one of the best center's we've seen in a few years. The young big man from Whitney Young High in Chicago already has offers from all of college basketball's elite. But as of now, he's given no real indication of who's in the lead for his services.

14 of 21

#8- Noah Vonleh- Power Forward

high school
Mark L. Baer- USA TODAY Sports

Vonleh, a 6'9'' 220lb power forward from New Hampton Prep (NH), is arguably the most talented player in the country. Vonleh is still growing into his frame, but just oozes potential. Vonleh will be playing his college ball for the Indiana Hoosiers, and should be an impact player the moment he steps foot on campus.

15 of 21

#7- Kasey Hill- Point Guard

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Hill is considered by most to be the best true point guard. Hill, from Clermont, Florida, is on the smaller side at 6'1'' 160lbs, but more than makes up for it with electrifying quickness and superb court awareness. Hill picked the Florida Gators more than a year ago , and has seen his stock go nowhere but up since then.

16 of 21

#6- Chris Walker- Power Forward

high school
Mike Carter- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'10'' 220lb Walker, from Bonifay, Florida, is opting to stay in-state for his college career- choosing the Florida Gators last summer over a host of other schools. Gators coach Billy Donovan is getting a versatile player in Walker, who shows excellent athleticism for his long frame. Walker plays more like a small forward than a power, and is a very fluid player.

17 of 21

#5- Julius Randle- Power Forward

high school
Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Randle is considered by most to be the top power forward in the country. The 6'9'' 240lb bruiser from Plano (TX) is currently uncommitted. Randle has a final four consisting of the Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky Wildcats (shocking) and North Carolina State Wolfpack. If Randle was another inch or two taller, he'd look eerily similar to Portland Trailblazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

18 of 21

#4- Andrew Harrison- Point Guard

high school
Rick Ostenski- USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Harrison, a 6'5'' 210lb point guard from Fort Bend (TX), is one half of the dynamic Harrison twins. Andrew, along with his twin brother, Aaron, will be suiting up for John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats next year. Andrew is listed as a point guard, but has the versatility, strength and athleticism to play spots 1 through 3.

19 of 21

#3- Aaron Harrison- Shooting Guard

high school
Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Harrison is the twin brother of Andrew, who you just read about at the #4 spot. The 6'5'' 210lb shooting guard is committed to the Kentucky Wildcats, same as his brother. Even though both brothers are identical in looks and size, Aaron is truly the sharpshooter of the two. He's got one of the prettiest jumpshots in the country, and could be the guy the 'Cats look to for a last second shot.

20 of 21

#2- Andrew Wiggins- Small Forward

high school
Brett Davis- USA TODAY Sports

Many college basketball recruiting analysts actually rank Wiggins as the top player in the country, even over the guy who's number one on this list. Wiggins, a 6'8''190lb small forward from national powerhouse Huntington Prep (WV), is currently uncommitted, but most are predicting it will come down to either the Kentucky Wildcats (shocking) or Florida State Seminoles (legitimately shocking). Most are predicting Wiggins to be the number one pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.

21 of 21

#1- Jabari Parker- Small Forward

high school
Mark L. Baer- USA TODAY Sports

The guy we have at number one is a guy most who follow college basketball have already heard of. Parker is considered by many to be the top prospect in the country this year, and is the only prospect of this years class to be a Sports Illustrated cover boy. Parker, from famed Simeon Vocational in Chicago, committed to the Duke Blue Devils last month, and should be the go-to guy on the probable #1 team in the country from the start. The 6'8'' 220lb Parker will be looking to follow in the footsteps of his father, Sonny, as a fellow first round draft pick in the near future.

1 of 21

Top 20 High School Basketball Recruits You Have To See Play Before The Big Time

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Ah high school basketball.

What a wonderful thing. Some say it's the last true refuge for honesty in the game. However, some will argue that the prep basketball scene is as dirty and tainted as the college game.

Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, there's no denying it's always intriguing to see the big name prospects, who we know will go on to the NBA in a merely a year or two, playing against fellow high school prospects.

Remember seeing LeBron James and the St. Vincent-St.Mary High School basketball team take on Oak Hill Academy on ESPN? I sure do. It was fantastic seeing a guy who you knew was going to be a superstar playing with and versus fellow prep players. It's always fascinating to see those prospects play before they hit the big time.

Think about that- when our kids and grandkids ask if we ever saw King James play, we'll be able to say we saw that guy back when he was still in high school!

Think back to all the legends. How awesome would it have been to see Michael Jordan playing at Laney High School? What about Larry Bird at Springs Valley High School? Jerry West at East Bank High School?

I'm not saying one or even any of the players in this years class of prospects will ever amount to even a tenth of the caliber of player of the aforementioned players, but there's always a chance.

It's a fact- the next big star is out there right now. Who is it? No one can say for sure.

So without further ado, here's a list of twenty players you should see before they hit the big time. Some of these guys could be future hall of famers and some could be total busts- it's almost a toss up and that's what makes it so much fun to follow.

2 of 21

#20- Rondae Jefferson- Small Forward

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson, from Chester High School (PA), is a very versatile player at 6'7'' 215lbs. He's a very fluid player who adds value on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Jefferson has elected to play his college ball for the Arizona Wildcats.

3 of 21

#19- Bobby Portis- Power Forward

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'9'' 225lb Portis is one of the more raw talents in this class. He's a physical player in the post who has the skills to develop into a perimeter threat as well. Portis, from Hall High School in Little Rock (AR), is choosing to play for his home state Arkansas Razorbacks.

4 of 21

#18- Isaiah Hicks- Power Forward

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Hicks, a 6'8'' 210lb two-way forward, is simply a fantastic basketball player. Hailing from Oxford, North Carolina, Hicks has been racking up triple-doubles since his freshman year at Webb High School. Hicks is bound for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

5 of 21

#17- Tyus Jones- Point Guard

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'1'' 171lb point guard is still only a junior in high school, and arguably the most talented prospect in the class of 2014. The Apple Valley (MN) native is incredibly mature for his age, and is a true leader on the court- exactly what you look for in your point guard. As of now, Jones is still making up his mind on where he'll be playing college basketball in '14.

6 of 21

#16- Robert Hubbs- Shooting Guard

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Hubbs, from Dyer County High in Newbern (TN), is one of the high flyers of this class, known for his acrobatic dunks. The 6'5'' 185lb shooting guard is immensely gifted athletically, and will only get better as he gets older. Hubbs is choosing his home state Tennessee Volunteers over a plethora of other schools.

7 of 21

#15-Anthony Barber- Point Guard

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Barber, at 6'2'' 165lbs, might be the fastest player in this years class. It's doubtful anyone in the country can run with him from baseline to baseline, and he's ready to use every bit of that speed with the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Barber, from Hampton, Virginia, should step in and contribute right away.

8 of 21

#14- Emmanuel Mudiay- Point Guard

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Mudiay (6'4'' 190lbs) is the top point guard in the class of 2014. Hailing from Prime Prep in Dallas (TX), Mudiay reminds some of a poor mans John Wall. He's a combo guard, who can both dish it and take it to the hoop. Currently uncommitted, Mudiay has offers from all the major players in the college basketball game.

9 of 21

#13- Jarrell Martin- Power Forward

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Martin, a 6'7'' 220lb power forward from Madison Prep in Baton Rouge (LA), is sticking with the hometown team LSU Tigers. Although he's listed as a power forward, he's got more of a small forward (or even shooting guards) frame. Martin has significant upside as a catch and shoot player, potentially thriving in a pick and roll offense.

10 of 21

#12- Dakari Johnson- Center

high school
Mike DiNovo- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'10'' 250lb Johnson, from Montverde Academy (FL), is the best center in the country for the 2013 class. While Johnson projects as more of a power forward in the NBA, he's certainly got the size/strength combination to play the 5 in college. Where's he headed next year? The answer might surprise you (dripping sarcasm)- the Kentucky Wildcats.

11 of 21

#11- James Young- Shooting Guard

high school
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

Young, a 6'6'' 210lb shooting guard from Rochester (MN) has decided to spurn his home state Minnesota Golden Gophers, electing instead to play for the Kentucky Wildcats (shocking). Young is one of the best pure shooters in the country, and is truly dynamic from behind the arc.

12 of 21

#10- Aaron Gordon- Small Forward

high school
Brett Davis- USA TODAY Sports

Gordon, from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose (CA) has become somewhat famous recently for his ridiculous dunks. Gordon, aside from his immense talent and versatility, is known for being a hustle player, always going a hundred miles an hour. At 6'8'' 210, Gordon could play either the 4 or the 3 in college. He's deciding between the Washington Huskies, Arizona Wildcats and Kentucky Wildcats (shocking).

13 of 21

#9- Jahlil Okafor- Center

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Okafor is the top player from the class of 2014. At 6'10'' 280lbs, Okafor almost looks like a defensive end. Long and powerful, Okafor could be one of the best center's we've seen in a few years. The young big man from Whitney Young High in Chicago already has offers from all of college basketball's elite. But as of now, he's given no real indication of who's in the lead for his services.

14 of 21

#8- Noah Vonleh- Power Forward

high school
Mark L. Baer- USA TODAY Sports

Vonleh, a 6'9'' 220lb power forward from New Hampton Prep (NH), is arguably the most talented player in the country. Vonleh is still growing into his frame, but just oozes potential. Vonleh will be playing his college ball for the Indiana Hoosiers, and should be an impact player the moment he steps foot on campus.

15 of 21

#7- Kasey Hill- Point Guard

high school
Brian Spurlock- McDonalds

Hill is considered by most to be the best true point guard. Hill, from Clermont, Florida, is on the smaller side at 6'1'' 160lbs, but more than makes up for it with electrifying quickness and superb court awareness. Hill picked the Florida Gators more than a year ago , and has seen his stock go nowhere but up since then.

16 of 21

#6- Chris Walker- Power Forward

high school
Mike Carter- USA TODAY Sports

The 6'10'' 220lb Walker, from Bonifay, Florida, is opting to stay in-state for his college career- choosing the Florida Gators last summer over a host of other schools. Gators coach Billy Donovan is getting a versatile player in Walker, who shows excellent athleticism for his long frame. Walker plays more like a small forward than a power, and is a very fluid player.

17 of 21

#5- Julius Randle- Power Forward

high school
Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Randle is considered by most to be the top power forward in the country. The 6'9'' 240lb bruiser from Plano (TX) is currently uncommitted. Randle has a final four consisting of the Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky Wildcats (shocking) and North Carolina State Wolfpack. If Randle was another inch or two taller, he'd look eerily similar to Portland Trailblazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

18 of 21

#4- Andrew Harrison- Point Guard

high school
Rick Ostenski- USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Harrison, a 6'5'' 210lb point guard from Fort Bend (TX), is one half of the dynamic Harrison twins. Andrew, along with his twin brother, Aaron, will be suiting up for John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats next year. Andrew is listed as a point guard, but has the versatility, strength and athleticism to play spots 1 through 3.

19 of 21

#3- Aaron Harrison- Shooting Guard

high school
Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Harrison is the twin brother of Andrew, who you just read about at the #4 spot. The 6'5'' 210lb shooting guard is committed to the Kentucky Wildcats, same as his brother. Even though both brothers are identical in looks and size, Aaron is truly the sharpshooter of the two. He's got one of the prettiest jumpshots in the country, and could be the guy the 'Cats look to for a last second shot.

20 of 21

#2- Andrew Wiggins- Small Forward

high school
Brett Davis- USA TODAY Sports

Many college basketball recruiting analysts actually rank Wiggins as the top player in the country, even over the guy who's number one on this list. Wiggins, a 6'8''190lb small forward from national powerhouse Huntington Prep (WV), is currently uncommitted, but most are predicting it will come down to either the Kentucky Wildcats (shocking) or Florida State Seminoles (legitimately shocking). Most are predicting Wiggins to be the number one pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.

21 of 21

#1- Jabari Parker- Small Forward

high school
Mark L. Baer- USA TODAY Sports

The guy we have at number one is a guy most who follow college basketball have already heard of. Parker is considered by many to be the top prospect in the country this year, and is the only prospect of this years class to be a Sports Illustrated cover boy. Parker, from famed Simeon Vocational in Chicago, committed to the Duke Blue Devils last month, and should be the go-to guy on the probable #1 team in the country from the start. The 6'8'' 220lb Parker will be looking to follow in the footsteps of his father, Sonny, as a fellow first round draft pick in the near future.


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