Please note that this ranking is not based on skill, but rather how entertaining these players were to watch, and how much media coverage/hype they received. Now sit back, and enjoy!
5. Mikey Williams, Guard, Class of 2023, San Ysidro High School, CA
Williams’ popularity started when he was playing for the North Coast Blue Chips eighth grade squad in AAU, playing alongside Bronny James Jr. The Blue Chips were steamrolling through people, and with LeBron James often attending games, a lot of eyes were on the young team. While many came for Bronny or LeBron, Williams was the best player every time the team stepped on the court. He eventually opted to play with the Compton Magic. From there on, he dominated everywhere he played, including at the varsity level at San Ysidro High School. He recently led the team to win the California Division 3 CIF Championship. His potential is through the roof, and there are many more highlights to come from this young buck.
4. Isaiah Washington, Guard, Class of 2017, St. Raymond High School, NY
Isaiah Washington and the rest of “Jelly Fam” took the basketball world by storm in 2017. Hoopers everywhere, and I quite literally mean everywhere, were jellying at every park across the nation. While not a new “move,” Jelly Fam, who are based out of New York and New Jersey, made the “move” mainstream and more of a park move. If you were playing pickup, and somebody pulled off a jelly on somebody’s head, everybody was going crazy. This is especially true for when Washington played in the Dyckman League in Manhattan. The energy you could feel was comparable to the past when NBA superstar Kevin Durant pulled up to Rucker Park, also located in Manhattan, in 2011 and dropped 66 points. That moment in basketball history is golden, just as Washington’s stint in high school was. He’s currently a junior at Iona College averaging 11 points per contest.
3. Mac McClung, Guard, Class of 2018, Gate City High School, VA
Of all the hoopers on this list, McClung is the most unique. An explosive 6’2” guard who absolutely soars and lands the craziest, most athletic slams. In 2018, he was dunking all over the competition in high school, and did it in the most flashy way possible. It wasn’t just the windmills and cradle dunks that made him entertaining, but also the pure arrogance. Confidence or cockiness, or whatever you want to call it, it was entertaining. He typically, after pulling off a disrespectful dunk, stared at the camera or at a defender. The pure dog spirit in McClung made him a joy to watch. He’s currently a sophomore at Georgetown University averaging 16 points per contest.
2. The Ball Brothers, Class of 2016, 2017, 2019*, Chino Hills High School, CA
Even to this day, Ball-Mania is going strong. Back when the big three of Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo were playing together, Chino Hills was untouchable. They approached the game at a different angle than ever seen before, and boy was it entertaining. Shooting purely 3-pointers, including halfcourt bombs from Lonzo down to LiAngelo, and LaMelo making people four years older than him look silly was instant on-court appeal. Off the court, their father, Lavar Ball was an absolute madman, promoting his sons anyway he could. You either loved him or hated him. However, what was undeniable was the play of the trio on the court. The 2016 Chino Hills team will forever be cemented in basketball history as the most viral and most entertaining team in high school basketball history. Lonzo is currently the starting point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, LiAngelo is playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder G-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, and LaMelo is training for the 2020 NBA Draft, where he is arguably a first pick overall contender.
1. Zion Williamson, Forward, Class of 2018, Spartanburg Day School, SC
When you’re compared to LeBron James, and you’re still in high school, that’s how you know you’re the man of high school basketball. That was the case for Zion Williamson. I have never seen such finesse, elegance, and pure power like I’ve seen in Williamson. Every time he got open on a break the whole gym held their breath, just waiting for the inevitable ground-shaking jam coming on the other end. Williamson is a generational talent, and his style of play and physical traits are the likes of which we haven’t seen. Williamson is currently a starting forward for the New Orleans Pelicans averaging 24 points and seven rebounds a contest, and is in the running for NBA Rookie of The Year.
Honorable mentions: Tyler Herro from Whitnall High School, Nico Mannion from Pinnacle High School, and Julian Newman from Downey Christian School.
*LaMelo eventually left Chino Hills, and went all over the place to play, and then eventually enrolled at Spire Academy in Ohio.