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High school baseball: Dylan Lesko, Drake Varnado headline list of HIGHSCORE National Player of the Year candidates - HIGHSCORE
High school baseball: Dylan Lesko, Drake Varnado headline list of MaxPreps National Player of the Year candidates
The high school baseball season is in full swing in some parts of the country while others are just getting underway. States like Florida, Georgia and Louisiana jump into the postseason this week.

That makes identifying candidates for MaxPreps National Player of the Year honors a little bit of a tricky exercise but some standouts have emerged, including pitcher Dylan Lesko of No. 1-ranked Buford (Ga.).

Read on for a look at 10 of the top contenders for high school baseball's highest honor.

Past MaxPreps National Players of the Year
2020 — No award (Pandemic)
2019 — Bobby Witt Jr., Colleyville Heritage (Colleyville, Texas)
2018 — Nolan Gorman, O'Connor (Phoenix)
2017 — Jordan Adell, Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)
2016 — Kyle Muller, Dallas Jesuit (Dallas)
2015 — Joe DeMers, College Park (Pleasant Hill, Calif.)
2014 — Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
2013 — Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake
2012 — Joey Gallo, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
2011 — Dylan Bundy, Owasso (Okla.)
2010 — Stetson Allie, St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio)
2009 — Matt Hobgood, Norco (Calif.)
2008 — Jake Odorizzi, Highland (Ill.)
Drake Varnado, IMG Academy
Photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Drake Varnado, IMG Academy
Baseball Player of the Year Watch List

Chris Arroyo, Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.)
The ace of the Eagles staff is 9-0 on the season with a 0.97 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched for the team that's reached No. 4 in the nation at one point this season. He threw six, no-hit innings with 13 strikeouts against Monsignor Pace and he threw a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts against Coral Springs.

Dominic Castellano, Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
The Tigers' ace is 7-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched as the Florida squad has been among the best teams all season. He also threw a no-hitter and was one of three pitchers to combine for a second no-hitter. He threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Sarasota, winning 3-0 with  eight strikeouts.

Jake Dresselhouse, St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
The Eaglets' lead-off batter has been a heavy hitter this year. He's bashed seven home runs, including three grand slams, while leading St. Mary Prep to 21 straight wins to begin the season, and 41 in a row dating back to the 2019 season. He's batting .422 with 40 runs scored and 34 RBI.

Jackson Ferris, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
He opened the season with a no-hitter against Palmetto and followed that up with a perfect game against Flower Mound (Texas). He had double-digit strikeout totals in his first five games and didn't allow an earned run until his sixth outing. He's 8-0 record with a 0.55 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 50.2 innings pitched.

Cooper Kinney, Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
The Red Raiders picked up a big win last week, 5-2 over Farragut. Kinney had a double, a home run and three RBI in the win, a performance that has become typical for the Baylor infielder. Kinney is batting .468 with 26 runs, 37 RBI, 16 doubles and seven home runs.

Dylan Lesko, Buford (Ga.)
Lesko has been a force on the mound and at the plate for the No. 1 ranked Wolves. Ranked as the No. 2 junior in the nation by Perfect Game, Lesko is 10-0 on the mound with a 0.26 ERA and 102 strikeouts and 12 walks. His best outings include an 18 strikeout game and he's thrown one no-hitter. On offense, Lesko is batting .412 (35 for 85) with 16 runs, 25 RBI, 7 doubles, a triple and 3 home runs.

Braden Montgomery, Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)
The Jaguars got off to a 24-0 start to the season and rose all the way to No. 3 in the national rankings before falling back following a loss. Montgomery has been key in the Jags' success, batting .459 with 39 RBI, four doubles, five triples and five home runs. He has also been stellar on the mound with a 6-1 record, a 0.39 ERA, and 71 strikeouts. His best outing came against Warren Central when he pitched six, no-hit innings with 16 strikeouts.

Sal Stewart, Westminster Christian (Miami)
After hitting four homers as a freshman and no home runs in a shortened 2020 season, Stewart leads the nation in home runs with 16. A total of 29 of his 42 base hits have gone for extra bases with a 11 doubles and two triples. He's batting .560 with 35 RBI and 39 runs. He came up big in Westminster Christian's win over nationally-ranked Stoneman Douglas with a home run and a pair of RBI.

Drake Varnado, IMG Academy
On a team loaded with potential first-round MLB draft picks, Varnado has been the consistent threat for the Ascenders. He leads IMG starters in batting average (.434), runs (33), hits (36), and home runs (7). He had two home runs in wins over Florence and Montverde Academy.

Jack Walker, Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
After sitting out his junior season with an arm injury, Walker has returned to form this year leading Barbe to a 35-2 record. He is 12-0 with a 0.44 ERA. In 63.2 innings pitched, has 97 strikeouts. Walker has thrown two no-hitters on the season, including one in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
High school girls basketball: No. 2 Westlake, No. 9 Paul VI advance to GEICO Nationals final - HIGHSCORE
High school girls basketball: No. 2 Westlake, No. 9 Paul VI advance to GEICO Nationals final
Fremont (Plain City, Utah) had all the momentum, cutting a 14-point deficit to three with a little over three minutes to go. But in a snap, like they had done all game, Raven Johnson and Ta'Niya Latson took it all away, lifting Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) to a stirring 64-54 GEICO Nationals semifinal victory Friday at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Playing before a national ESPNU audience, Johnson and Latson were brilliant, combing for all but 13 of their team's points, lifting the second-ranked Lions into Saturday's 10 a.m. EST championship game against No. 9 Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.), which stunned No. 1 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 52-49 in overtime, ending the Highlanders' 35-game win streak.

Johnson, a 5-foot-10 South Carolina commit, had 25 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals, while 5-9 junior Latson scored a game-high 26 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Lions improved to 21-0.

"They did what they've been doing all season," Westlake coach Hilda Hankerson told ESPNU after the game. "They're good leaders and friends on and off the court. That chemistry between them is something you just can't coach. We're just so excited to have one more game."

All four teams in the event entered unbeaten, reigning state champions and ranked among the top 11 teams in the country. The two games didn't disappoint, each coming down to the wire.

Fremont (26-1), finally utilizing its height advantage, closed to within 53-50 on two free throws by 6-5 sophomore Maggie Mendelson (23 points, six rebounds) with 3:02 left.

In the next minute, Johnson and Latson combined for three steals and three breakaway layups. A short jumper by Misia McKinney made it 62-50 and just like that, this semifinal was over. Westlake, with superior quickness, forced 20 turnovers and turned them into 22 points. Latson and Johnson each played the entire 32 points and combined for only seven turnovers.

"Those two are definitely special in the open court," Hankerson said.

Emma Calvert, a 6-4 BYU commit, added 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for No. 11 Fremont, which was actually outrebounded 34-30.

Paul VI 52, Lake Highland Prep 49

It had been almost two months since the 14-time defending Virginia state champions had played a game — Feb. 9 — and with 21 turnovers and a 12 of 26 performance at the line, there were definitely signs of rust.

But the Panthers (11-0) made up for it with defense, forcing 28 turnovers and using balanced scoring, led by Jaelyn Talley (17 points), Duke signee Lee Volker (13 points, six rebounds, four steals) and Bella Perkins (10 points, five steals, four assists).

Alyssa Costigan scored all nine of her points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, leading a 10-2 run and giving the Panthers a 46-41 lead. Down 47-42 with 1:35 to go, Eleecia Carter (team-high 14 points) forced overtime for Lake Highland with a mid-range jumper than a 3-pointer.

In overtime a 3-pointer by Volker gave her team the lead for good. Paul VI completely locked down on the defensive end, not allowing a bucket in overtime, just two free throws by Alabama signee Kayla Blackshear (10 points, 12 rebounds).

Louisville commit Nyla Harris added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Central Florida-bound Stefanie Ingram contributed nine points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Highlanders, who hadn't lost since Dec. 28, 2019 — a 56-55 contest to Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.).

In addition to the turnovers, cold shooting did in the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The Highlanders made just 16 of 52 from the field (31 percent), including 4 of 22 on 3-pointers (18.2 percent).

GEICO Nationals schedule

Saturday, April 3
Game on ESPN2
10 a.m. (ET) — Paul VI vs. Westlake
HIGHSCORE Photos of the Month: March - HIGHSCORE
MaxPreps Photos of the Month: March
MaxPreps is known for its outstanding freelance professional photographers that cover high school sporting events, and the stellar images they capture are highlighted in the pro galleries.

Here are nine of the best photos published in galleries during the month of March from our network of photographers across the nation.
Texline (Texas) head coach Coby Beckner celebrates on the court with his players (background) after winning the  UIL Class 1A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Photo by Tommy Hays
Texline (Texas) head coach Coby Beckner celebrates on the court with his players (background) after winning the UIL Class 1A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Walden Grove (Ariz.) goalkeeper Ethan Itule makes a diving save en route to a 3-0 victory over Prescott in an AIA 4A state semifinal game.
Photo by Chris Stanley
Walden Grove (Ariz.) goalkeeper Ethan Itule makes a diving save en route to a 3-0 victory over Prescott in an AIA 4A state semifinal game.
A female diver soars above the pool during the CHSAA 3A State Diving Championships in Colorado.
Photo by Brent Murphy
A female diver soars above the pool during the CHSAA 3A State Diving Championships in Colorado.
Curtis (Wash.) receiver Issac Emanuel (top) goes over the shoulder of Puyallup defensive back Jaden Kolowitz trying to make the reception.
Photo by Vince MIller
Curtis (Wash.) receiver Issac Emanuel (top) goes over the shoulder of Puyallup defensive back Jaden Kolowitz trying to make the reception.
A Dana Hills (Calif.) goalie eyes an incoming shot during a game against host Aliso Niguel.
Photo by Ming Chung Lin
A Dana Hills (Calif.) goalie eyes an incoming shot during a game against host Aliso Niguel.
Lee's Summit's (Mo.) Alex Benassi splits two Liberty defenders for a layup during a MSHSAA state quarterfinal game.
Photo by David Smith
Lee's Summit's (Mo.) Alex Benassi splits two Liberty defenders for a layup during a MSHSAA state quarterfinal game.
A Glendora (Calif.) defender covers the face of a St. Lucy's player looking to pass the ball.
Photo by Donn Parris
A Glendora (Calif.) defender covers the face of a St. Lucy's player looking to pass the ball.
Two Northwest Christian (Ariz.) players battle a Parker player (middle) for a header.
Photo by Mark Jones
Two Northwest Christian (Ariz.) players battle a Parker player (middle) for a header.
Canyon (Texas) players celebrate wildly as the final seconds countdown in their victory over Hardin-Jefferson in the UIL Class 4A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Canyon (Texas) players celebrate wildly as the final seconds countdown in their victory over Hardin-Jefferson in the UIL Class 4A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Greatest high school athlete from all 50 states - HIGHSCORE
Greatest high school athlete from all 50 states
Who is better: Jim Brown or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Choose between John Elway and Jackie Robinson. How about Bo Jackson or Willie Mays? Those might seem like odd questions, but they are valid topics of conversation when trying to determine the greatest athlete from each state.

MaxPreps has chosen the best athlete from all 50 states, along with the District of Columbia. The criteria is simple: Who has the best overall career from high school to the professional level? While playing more than one sport was helpful, single-sport success did not eliminate an athlete, such as Shaquille O'Neal and Magic Johnson, from consideration.
Ezekiel Elliott played prep football at Burroughs (St. Louis).
File photo by Mark Guthrel
Ezekiel Elliott played prep football at Burroughs (St. Louis).
Greatest high school athlete from all 50 states

Alabama
Bo Jackson, McAdory (McCalla)
One of the few athletes in the last century to play professional baseball and football, a hip injury while playing for the Oakland Raiders cut short Jackson's career. In high school, the future Heisman Trophy winner excelled in football, indoor track and field, and baseball, setting state records in the latter two sports.

Alaska
Carlos Boozer, Juneau-Douglas (Juneau)
The two-time NBA All-Star is the most decorated athlete to come from Alaska. A two-time All-American in high school and a third-team All-American in college, Boozer also won an NCAA championship at Duke and played 14 years in the NBA.

Arizona
Jim Palmer, Scottsdale
The Hall of Fame pitcher won three Cy Young awards and was a three-time World Series champion with the Orioles. In high school, he was an all-state second team receiver at Scottsdale, a first-team all-state basketball selection and one of the state's top pitchers with a 6-2 overall record.

Arkansas
Don Hutson, Pine Bluff
Hutson was way ahead of his time while playing wide receiver in the NFL in the 1930s and 40s with the Green Bay Packers. Despite retiring in 1945, Hutson still holds 13 NFL records. Playing for one of the greatest high school football programs of its day, Hutson earned all-state honors in football and basketball while playing baseball for the local town team.

California
Jackie Robinson, Muir (Pasadena)
Robinson's legendary status and impact on the game of baseball is secure, but it wasn't the only sport he excelled in at the high school level. He was an All-Southland player in basketball and football and helped the track team win a state championship. He enjoyed great success in basketball and football at UCLA before moving on to the Major Leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Colorado
Earl "Dutch" Clark, Pueblo Central (Pueblo)
A Hall of Famer at the high school, college and professional level, Clark was one of the top running backs in the NFL during the league's second decade. He also led the basketball team at Pueblo Central to a state championship and set state records in track and field.

Connecticut
Steve Young, Greenwich
Born in Utah, Young played high school football in Connecticut where he earned all-state honors as a running quarterback. He developed into one of the game's best passing quarterbacks, finishing his NFL career with the game's best passer rating (he now ranks sixth). He also played basketball and baseball in high school.

Delaware
Elena Delle Donne, Ursuline Academy (Wilmington)
Delle Donne ranks as one of the top players in WNBA history and one of the greatest high school girls basketball players of all-time. She is a two-time WNBA MVP, led the nation in scoring while at the University of Delaware and won an Olympic gold medal in 2016. In high school, Delle Donne became the state's all-time leading scorer while leading Ursuline to three state titles. She was the No. 1 recruit in the nation as a senior.
Elena Delle Donne, Ursuline Academy
File photo by Kevin Yen
Elena Delle Donne, Ursuline Academy
District of Columbia
Elgin Baylor, Springarn
By the time Baylor retired from the NBA midway through the 1972 season, he was the league's third all-time leading scorer behind Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson. He played one year at Springarn and averaged 36.1 points per game in league play.

Florida
Deion Sanders, North Fort Myers
Basketball might have been Sanders' best sport in high school as he averaged 24 points per game. In football, he earned All-Southwest Florida honors as a quarterback while in baseball he went in the sixth round of the MLB draft. He is regarded as one of the NFL's top all-time cornerbacks and also played nine seasons in the Majors.

Georgia
Herschel Walker, Johnson County (Wrightsville)
Although his records have since been broken, Walker was a revelation as a high school running back in Georgia. His 3,167 yards in 1979 broke the previous state record by 600 yards. He also nearly became the first college freshman to win a Heisman Trophy (he later won as a junior). While his NFL career did not match the promise he showed in college, it should be noted that he played three of his prime seasons in the USFL, where he gained 5,562 yards.

Hawaii
Marcus Mariota, St. Louis (Honolulu)
Mariota edges out fellow St. Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the honor as the state's greatest athlete. Mariota was the state player of the year while leading St. Louis to a state championship. He went on to win the Heisman Trophy at Oregon along with the Davey O'Brien Award and the Maxwell Award. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft and started for the Tennessee Titans before signing with the Raiders.

Idaho
Harmon Killebrew, Payette
Known as one of Major League Baseball's greatest home run hitters with the Minnesota Twins, Killebrew was also a standout football player at Payette. Wigwam Wiseman named Killebrew to its All-American fourth team in 1953. Shortly after graduating in 1954, Killebrew signed with the Washington Senators and made his MLB debut on June 23. He played 22 seasons and hit 573 home runs.

Illinois
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Lincoln, East St. Louis (now East St. Louis)
CBS News picked Joyner-Kersee as the top female athlete of all-time in 2015 and Sports Illustrated did the same earlier last week. No argument here. In high school, she was an all-state basketball player and one of the top track athletes in the nation. She played both sports at UCLA and embarked on an Olympic career that saw her win three golds, a silver and two bronze medals in the long jump and heptathlon over the course of four Olympic Games.

Indiana
Oscar Robertson, Crispus Attucks (Indianapolis)
A case could be made that Robertson is the best all-around player in the history of high school, college and professional basketball. He led Crispus Attucks to a 62-1 record and two state titles and at Cincinnati he finished his career as the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. While Robertson is often mentioned as the first player to average a triple-double in a single season, what should be pointed out is that over his first five seasons in the NBA he averaged 10.4 rebounds, 10.6 assists and 30.3 points per game.

Iowa
Bob Feller, Van Meter
A Hall of Fame pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Feller struck out 15 batters in his first professional start. He also had 17 strikeouts in a game later that season. After the season was over, Feller went back to Van Meter for his senior year. That's right, Feller posted a 5-3 record in the Major Leagues between his junior and senior year in high school. He won 266 career games, and likely would have won more if not for his four years of service in World War II during his prime.

Kansas
Jim Ryun, East (Wichita)
As a high school junior, Ryun became the first high school athlete to run a sub-4 minute mile as he clocked a 3:59 in 1964. He ran sub-4 five times while in high school and won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete at the age of 19. He won the silver medal at the 1968 Olympics in the 1,500 meters and once held the world record in six running events.

Kentucky
Shaun Alexander, Boone County (Florence)
The top running back ever to come out of Kentucky, he rushed for 6,657 yards in high school and was a USA Today All-American. He was also All-American in college at Alabama and made the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team while rushing for 9,453 career yards. He also played basketball, baseball and ran track in high school.

Louisiana
Peyton Manning, Newman (New Orleans)
MaxPreps has previously ranked Manning as the greatest high school football player in history, based on his accomplishments at the high school, college and professional level. He finished his career as the NFL's all-time leader in yards and touchdowns (since passed) and he still holds 20 NFL records.

Maine
Cindy Blodgett, Lawrence (Fairfield)
A three-time Gatorade State basketball Player of the Year, Blodgett went on to have a spectacular college career in which she led the nation in scoring four straight seasons. She was the fourth NCAA player to score over 3,000 career points (3,005) and she still ranks No. 13 all-time in NCAA history. She played four seasons in the WNBA.

Maryland
Michael Phelps, Towson
Winner of 23 swimming gold medals over four Summer Olympics (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), Phelps was winning gold on an international level when he was in high school. He competed in the 2000 Olympics at 15 and set his first world record the following year at the World Championships. By the time he turned 18, Phelps had already won eight gold medals at the international level and set five world records.

Massachusetts
Patrick Ewing, Cambridge Rindge & Latin (Cambridge)
During the 1981 basketball season, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone weren't the most prized recruits in the nation. That honor went to Ewing, a three-time Parade All-American. Ewing won an NCAA championship at Georgetown, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft and enjoyed an 18-year career.

Michigan
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Everett (Lansing)
Within a four-year period, Johnson won a high school state championship at Everett, an NCAA championship at Michigan State and an NBA championship with the Lakers. He went on to win five NBA titles and three NBA Most Valuable Player awards before entering the Hall of Fame.

Minnesota
Joe Mauer, Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul)
The only athlete to ever earn USA Today National Player of the Year in football and baseball. He made six All-Star games with the Minnesota Twins. In the history of Major League Baseball, a catcher has won a batting title seven times. Mauer owns three of those titles.

Mississippi
Jerry Rice, Moor
Rice might have been a bit of an unknown on the national level while in high school, but that didn't mean he wasn't an outstanding high school player. He earned all-conference honors in football and basketball before a Hall of Fame career in the NFL. He still holds 13 NFL records including No. 1 all-time in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Missouri
Ezekiel Elliott, Burroughs (St. Louis)
Although five years into his NFL career, Elliott already ranks as one of the most accomplished athletes to come out of the Show Me State. A football and track and field star in high school, Elliott was the offensive player of the year in football by the Post Dispatch and the Gatorade State Player of the Year in Track and Field. At Ohio State, Elliott won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. In the NFL, he is a two-time league rushing leader and a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Elliott beats out New York Yankee great Yogi Berra, who reportedly did not play high school sports.

Montana
Pat Donovan, Helena
A four-time Pro Bowl player in the NFL with the Cowboys as an offensive lineman, Donovan was all-state in football and basketball in high school and won six gold medals at the state meet in track. He is a member of the National High School Hall of Fame.

Nebraska
Bob Gibson, Omaha Tech (closed in 1984)
Gibson played American Legion baseball in high school, but he was an all-state player in basketball and track. He was a third-team All-American in basketball at Creighton before joining the St. Louis Cardinals. The Hall of Famer was a nine-time All-Star with two Cy Young Awards.

Nevada
Bryce Harper, Las Vegas
Harper only played two seasons of high school baseball, earning All-American honors as a sophomore before getting his GED in 2009 and playing collegiate baseball in 2010. He was the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and won Rookie of the Year honors in 2012. Only 28, Harper is a six-time MLB All-Star.

New Hampshire
Carlton Fisk, Charlestown
A Hall of Fame catcher with the Red Sox and White Sox, Fisk was also a standout on the hardcourt. He led Charlestown to a state championship as a sophomore and played college basketball at the University of New Hampshire.

New Jersey
Mike Trout, Millville
Trout set a state record with 18 home runs as a senior and was a first-round draft pick by the Angels in 2009. Since then, Trout has become one of the top sluggers in the league. He is an eight-time MLB All-Star and has won three MVP awards.

New Mexico
Brian Urlacher, Lovington
All-state in football and basketball, Urlacher led Lovington to a 14-0 season as a running back and defensive back. He bulked up once he reached the NFL and became one of the game's top linebackers. He went to eight Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

New York
Jim Brown, Manhasset
In the closest call of any states on the list, Brown edges Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot in New York. Both are considered, by some, to be the best player of all-time in their respective sports. Brown gets the nod here due to his prowess in basketball (he led the nation in scoring as a senior at 38 points per game) and was also one of the nation's top lacrosse players.

North Carolina
Michael Jordan, E.A. Laney (Wilmington)
On the 1981 Street and Smith high school preseason All-American team, Jordan was nowhere to be found, not even honorable mention. But that didn't mean he was a "no name" coming out of high school. North Carolina thought enough of Jordan to recruit him early in his senior year. By the time his senior season had ended, he was a Parade All-American and the MVP of the McDonald's All-American game. The rest is history — six NBA championships, five NBA MVP awards and 14 All-Star appearances.

North Dakota
Roger Maris, Shanley (Fargo)
Known as Roger Maras in high school, the future MLB home run king, earned all-state honors in football and was Shanley's leading scorer in basketball. He played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues and was twice named the league MVP.

Ohio
LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron)
If he hadn't given up football following his sophomore year, James might have been the greatest two-sport athlete in high school history. A three-time Parade All-American and a two-time national player of the year in basketball, James was also all-state in football as a sophomore. He won his fourth NBA title earlier this month with the Lakers and ranks No. 3 on the league's all-time scoring list.
LeBron James played football and basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary.
File photo by Lonnie Webb
LeBron James played football and basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Oklahoma
Mickey Mantle, Commerce
A 20-time All-Star and a three-time MVP, Mantle played semi-professional baseball and signed with the Yankees following his graduation in 1949. He was also the leading scorer on the football team and the basketball team.

Oregon
Danny Ainge, North Eugene (Eugene)
A high school All-American in football and basketball, Ainge was also drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. After three seasons in the Minor Leagues and an All-American basketball career at BYU, Ainge played 15 seasons in the NBA.

Pennsylvania
Wilt Chamberlain, Overbrook (Philadelphia)
The Keystone State is home to a number of great NFL quarterbacks, like Johnny Unitas, Dan Marino and Joe Montana, but none of them can match the performance of Chamberlain, who was the greatest scorer the NBA has ever seen. His 50.4 scoring average in 1962 is one of the unbreakable records in the NBA. A great scorer in high school as well, Chamberlain had 90 points in one game and finished his career at Overbrook as the state's all-time leading scorer with 2,252 points.

Rhode Island
Davey Lopes, La Salle Academy (Providence)
An all-state player in basketball and baseball, Lopes played 16 seasons in the Major Leagues, mostly with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made four All-Star games and had 557 stolen bases in his career.

South Carolina
A.J. Green, Summerville
A seven-time Pro Bowl selection in the NFL, Green ranked No. 3 nationally in career yards when he graduated from high school. He also played on a state championship basketball team and ran track at Summerville.

South Dakota
Adam Vinatieri, Rapid City Central (Rapid City)
Besides earning all-state honors as a punter in high school, Vinatieri was also a state place winner in wrestling. He played 24 seasons in the NFL and is the league's all-time leading scorer with 2,673 points. He was also named to the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team.

Tennessee
Reggie White, Howard Tech (Chattanooga)
The No. 1 recruit in the state coming out of high school, White was an All-American at Tennessee and went on to make the Pro Bowl 13 times during a 16-year NFL career. He was named to the All-Decade team for the 1980s and 1990s as well as the 100-year Anniversary Team.

Texas
Shaquille O'Neal, Cole (San Antonio)
Texas might be viewed as a football state, but its greatest athlete is O'Neal. He led Cole to a 68-1 record during his high school career and went on to a 19-year career that included 15 All-Star appearances and four NBA titles.

Utah
Merlin Olsen, Logan
A Wigwam Wiseman All-American football player, Olsen was also all-state in basketball. He developed into one of the NFL's greatest defensive linemen, earning selection to 14 Pro Bowls during a Hall of Fame career.

Vermont
Billy Kidd, Stowe
Vermont has some of the best ski resorts in the nation and one of them, Stowe, produced the state's greatest athlete. Billy Kidd was a teenage phenom, winning national downhill skiing events while a junior in high school. In 1964, Kidd became the first American downhill skier to win a medal (silver) in the Olympics.

Virginia
Allen Iverson, Bethel (Hampton)
Iverson was the state player of the year in both football and basketball as a junior and later earned All-American honors at Georgetown. He was a four-time NBA scoring champion and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Washington
Ryne Sandberg, North Central (Spokane)
Sandberg first gained high school recognition as a Parade All-American quarterback; however, the Phillies drafted him in the 20th round of the 1979 draft and he embarked on a Major League Baseball career instead. He's generally considered one of the top 10 second basemen in MLB history and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

West Virginia
Randy Moss, DuPont (now closed)
Moss was a two-time state player of the year in basketball and led the football team to a pair of state championships. He also won multiple state championships in track and field before moving on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL.

Wisconsin
J.J. Watt, Pewaukee
Watt was not a highly-rated recruit coming out of high school, warranting only two stars by Scout and Rivals. However, he was an all-state tight end in football and won a state championship in the shot put. After an All-American career at Wisconsin, Watt became the second player to earn the league defensive player of the year honor three times.

Wyoming
Rulon Gardner, Star Valley (Afton)
An all-state football player, a state champion in wrestling and a state champion in the shot put in track and field, Gardner gained his greatest fame in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in Greco Roman wrestling when he defeated Russian Aleksandr Karelin for the Gold Medal. Karelin had been undefeated for 13 years and unscored upon for the previous six years.
High school basketball: DeMatha coach Mike Jones returns to lead USA Men's U16's National Team - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: DeMatha coach Mike Jones returns to lead USA Men's U16's National Team
USA basketball announced that Mike Jones of DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) will return to lead the U16 men's National Team coaching staff along with assistant coaches Eric Flannery of St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) and Sharman White of Pace Academy (Atlanta).

The trio already helped USA Basketball men's U16 and U17 teams to a combined seven gold medals, including in 2019 when they led the USA U16 National team to a 6-0 record.

Team USA will compete in the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, where the top four finishers earn a berth into the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup. The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team Committee.

"The committee felt these three coaches were the right group to lead the USA U16 National Team in 2021," said Sean Ford, committee chair and USA Basketball Men's National Team director per the official press release. "More than the fact that they were not able to coach in 2020 as expected, Mike, Eric and Sharman have outstanding experience coaching with USA Basketball, and they will lead this U16 team by exemplifying and developing the values of the USA Basketball Junior National Team program that they have been a huge part of creating."

This is Jones' 22nd USA Basketball coaching assignment, including winning the 2019 U16 gold medal, serving as a lead coach at the 2019 USA Men's Junior National Team July minicamp and as a court coach at the 2019 USA Men's Junior National Team October minicamp. He also served as head coach of the USA Nike Hoop Summit Team in 2013, 2014 and 2018, and as a USA Hoop Summit assistant in 2012 and 2017.

"I am truly honored to represent our country and to work with such a great staff and tremendous young men," Jones said. "We know that we have a challenge ahead of us, and we will embrace it, prepare for it, and we look forward to competing with some of the best talent from the Americas. We are very excited and anxious to get back on the court and chase a gold medal."

Jones has coached DeMatha for 20 years where he owns an all-time record of 511-119 (.811 winning percentage). He led the Stags to their fourth consecutive MaxPreps Top 25 finish this past season, finishing No. 4 with a 9-0 record in an abbreviated 2020-21 campaign.

Flannery enters his 14th coaching role for USA basketball in 2021 after recently completing his 25th season with St. Edward where he's compiled a 483-132 overall record.

White will undertake his 10th USA basketball coaching assignment. White is 449-106 overall with nine state titles in 23 seasons as a high school basketball head coach.

The coaches will look to continue the tradition of the USA U16 men's basketball program that has compiled an all-time record of 31-0 in FIBA Americas Championship competition since its debut in 2009.
Mike Jones coaches up his DeMatha squad during a timeout.
Photo by: Mike Braca
Mike Jones coaches up his DeMatha squad during a timeout.