NBA draft 2021: Which states produced the most prospects?

The NBA draft is Thursday night, and the internet is overflowing with information about Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and all the expected top picks.

We’re going to take a look at the draft from a high school-centric angle, grouping the players mentioned in three recent mock drafts (one by Sports Illustrated, another from Yahoo Sports and a third by Bleacher Report) according to the state where they played their final year of high school basketball.

The projected lottery is littered with players who plied their trade at more than one high school, with only USC’s Evan Mobley and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert playing all four years at the same school.

Of the 51 states (yes, we’re counting D.C. as a state here), 27 have players projected as NBA draft picks. Eleven countries outside the U.S. are represented, and we’ll list those players first:

Canada: Joshua Primo (Alabama) and AJ Lawson (South Carolina)

France: Joel Ayayi (Gonzaga) and Juhann Begarin (Paris Basket)

Spain: Santi Aldama (Loyola-Maryland) and Usman Garuba (Real Madrid)

Germany: Franz Wagner (Michigan)

Turkey: Alperen Sengün (Besiktas)

Australia: Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers)

Lithuania: Rokas Jokubaitis (Zalgiris)

Senegal: Amar Sylla (Oostende)

Portugal: Neemias Queta (Utah State)

Belgium: Vrenz Blijenbergh (Antwerp)

Croatia: Roko Prkacin (Cibona)

Evan Mobley, 2021 NBA draft
Evan Mobley (No. 4), who is also pictured above in the featured photo, played all four years of high school basketball at Rancho Christian in Southern California.

And here are all the U.S. states, plus one important district to get us started:

Washington, D.C. (1)

Luka Garza, C, Iowa

Garza left Maret School in Washington, D.C., as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,993 points after he played all four years there. He earned D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year honors after leading Maret to the district title game his senior year.

Washington (1)

Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga

Kispert is one of the few projected lottery picks who played all four years of high school ball at the same school. He went to King’s High School in Shoreline, Washington, leading the team to two 1A state championships.

Virginia (1)

Cameron Thomas, SG, LSU

Born in Japan, Thomas started his high school basketball career playing for Oscar F. Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. After sitting out his sophomore year, he played for basketball power Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, his junior and senior years. As a senior at Oak Hill, Thomas averaged 31.5 points, six rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, leaving as the program’s all-time leading scorer.

Tennessee (1)

Keon Johnson, SG, Tennessee

Johnson played his entire high school basketball career for The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Just two months before starting high school, he was badly injured in a fireworks accident and narrowly avoided needing to have his hand amputated. He rebounded from his injuries and twice was named Division II-A Tennessee Mr. Basketball.

Rhode Island (1)

David Duke, G, Providence

After focusing previously on soccer, football and track, Duke played his first year of basketball for the JV team at Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island, as a freshman. He stood just 5 feet 6. As a 6-foot-5 junior, he averaged 15 points per game and led Classical to a state title. He then transferred to Cushing Academy, a prep school in Ashburnham, Massachusetts.

Ohio (1)

Miles McBride, PG, West Virginia

McBride was a football and basketball star for Moeller High School in Cincinnati, playing quarterback and point guard. As a senior, he averaged 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, leading Moeller to a 29–0 record and its second consecutive Division I state championship.

New Jersey (1)

Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite

The Congo-born Kuminga played for three high schools in three states in his three-year high school basketball career, starting at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, then transferring to Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, and finishing at The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey, where he averaged 16.2 points per game.

Nevada (1)

Daishen Nix, PG, G League Ignite

An Alaska native, Nix and his family moved to Las Vegas before his freshman year to get him more basketball exposure. He played all four years for Trinity International in Las Vegas. By the end of his junior season, he’d become the school’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and assists.

Massachusetts (1)

James Bouknight, SG, UConn

After playing his first two years of high school ball at La Salle Academy in Manhattan, the Brooklyn-born Bouknight transferred to The MacDuffie School in Granby, Massachusetts. A knee injury cut short his junior year, and then the projected lottery pick played his senior season with the prep school PSA Cardinals.

Louisiana (1)

Jared Butler, G, Baylor

Butler played all four years of high school ball in his hometown of Reserve, Louisiana, competing for Riverside Academy. He averaged 27.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 3.0 steals during his senior year and was named first-team all-state for the second straight season.

Kansas (1)

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova

Robinson-Earl won three state titles in three years playing for Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, Kansas. As a senior he transferred to the prep school IMG Academy in Florida.

Iowa (1)

Joe Wieskamp, SG, Iowa

Wieskamp left high school as the Iowa Class 4A career scoring leader with 2,376 points playing for his hometown Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa. He was named Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year after his junior and senior seasons.

Indiana (1)

Aaron Henry, SG, Michigan State

Henry was a four-year starter for Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, leading the team to a sectional title his senior season and a Class 4A state championship as a junior.

Delaware (1)

Bones Hyland, SG, VCU

Hyland started and finished at the same high school, St. Georges Technical High School in Middletown, Delaware. He was named Delaware Player of the Year after averaging 26.6 points per game his senior year, leading his team to the state tournament semifinals.

Arkansas (1)

Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma

Reaves won two Class 2A state titles and one Class 3A state title playing for Cedar Ridge High School in Newark, Arkansas. He averaged 43.3 points per game in the state tournament his senior year, earning MVP honors.

Wisconsin (2)

Sam Hauser, F, Virginia

Hauser was a three-sport star for Stevens Point Area High School in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (basketball, football and golf). He led his basketball team to state championships in his junior and senior year, earning Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year honors after his final season of high school basketball.

Jalen Johnson, F, Duke

Johnson played his first two years of high school basketball for Sun Prairie High School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, transferred to Nicolet in Glendale, Wisconsin, as a junior and then IMG Academy in Florida as a senior before transferring back to Nicolet. He was named AP Player of the Year after leading Nicolet to a state championship his sophomore season.

Texas (2)

Greg Brown, F, Texas

Brown was a four-year varsity starter at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas, where he also was a high jumper for the track and field team. He was named Texas Gatorade Player of the Year after leading Vandegrift to its first district title in his senior year.

Quentin Grimes, SG, Houston

Grimes played all four years of high school ball for College Park High School in The Woodlands, Texas, amassing 2,863 points, 854 rebounds, 582 assists, 213 steals and 127 blocks. After his senior year he was named the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American.

New York (2)

Justin Champagnie, F, Pittsburgh

Champagnie played high school basketball for his hometown Bishop Loughlin High in Brooklyn, New York, earning first-team Class AA All-State honors his senior year after averaging 19.8 points per game.

Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon

Born in Canada and raised in the Dominican Republic, Duarte moved with his family to New York for his junior and senior year, playing for the Redemption Christian Academy in Troy. He was ranked by 247Sports as the fifth-best prospect in New York after his senior year but went on to far exceed expectations as a college basketball player.

Michigan (2)

Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky

Jackson played at a different school in all four years of his prep career, starting at Lutheran Northwest High in Rochester Hills, Michigan, then moving to Old Redford Academy in Detroit before playing for the SPIRE Academy in Geneva, Ohio, alongside LaMelo Ball as a junior. He moved back to Michigan for his senior year, averaging 19.1 points, 13 rebounds and 7.7 blocks for Waterford Mott High in Waterford.

Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan

Livers played all four years of high school ball for Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, earning honors as Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball of Michigan after his senior year.

Kentucky (2)

Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky

Born in Nigeria, where he focused on soccer until age 12, Bassey moved to the United States as a 6-foot-10 14-year-old. He started his high school career at St. Anthony Catholic High School in San Antonio, Texas, where he quickly became one of the most sought-after recruits in the country. He transferred to DeSales High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and played basketball for the Louisville prep school Aspire Basketball Academy.

David Johnson, G, Louisville

Johnson scored 1,472 points and grabbed 719 rebounds in four seasons as a starter at Trinity High School in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. He earned first-team all-state honors as a junior and senior.

Illinois (2)

Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois

A Chicago native, Dosunmu played all four years of high school basketball in his hometown. He started at Westinghouse College Prep and played his final three years for Morgan Park, where he led the school to back-to-back state championships in his junior and senior year.

DJ Steward, G, Duke

Steward started his high school career playing for Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois, and finished at Whitney Young High in Chicago, where he was named a McDonald’s All-American.

Alabama (2)

Herbert Jones, F, Alabama

Jones played varsity basketball as a seventh-grader for Sunshine High School in Newbern, Alabama, where his dad was the head coach. He transferred to nearby Hale County High in Moundville as a junior and helped lead the team to its first state championship as a senior, earning Class 4A Player of the Year honors.

Trendon Watford, F, LSU

Watford started playing high school basketball when he was in middle school in Irondale, Alabama, but went on to play four years for Mountain Brook High School in Mountain Brook, Alabama. He led Mountain Brook to three straight state championships from 2017-19.

North Carolina (3)

Trey Murphy, F, Virginia

Murphy finished as the Cary Academy career leader in field goals made, three-pointers made and free throws made for the Cary, North Carolina, school.

Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee

Springer played varsity basketball as an eighth-grader for Lighthouse Christian School in Antioch, Tennessee, before playing for Rocky River High School in Mint Hill, North Carolina, as a freshman and sophomore, leading the team to its first two state tournament appearances. He played his final two seasons for the Florida prep school IMG Academy.

Aaron Wiggins, F, Maryland

Wiggins started his high school career at Grimsley High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, and finished at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, North Carolina, where he played with Jaylen Hoard and earned all-state honors as a senior.

Georgia (3)

Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn

Cooper played all four years of high school ball for McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, leading the school to its first state title his junior year. His No. 2 jersey number was retired in May at McEachern, where he was honored as the most decorated boys basketball player in school history.

Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor

Mitchell went to Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Georgia, all four years of his high school basketball career, leading the team to its first Class 4A state title as a junior, when he averaged 24.2 points per game. He averaged 23.8 points per game as a senior.

J.T. Thor, F, Auburn

Born in Nebraska, Thor moved to Alaska at age 5 and played a year of prep basketball as a seventh-grader for West Anchorage High School. He transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia, where he played for two years, and then finished his high school career at Norcross High School in Norcross, Georgia, earning all-state honors.

Minnesota (4)

Matthew Hurt, F, Duke

Hurt played all four years of high school ball for John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minnesota. As a senior, he averaged 36.8 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game and was named Minnesota Mr. Basketball.

Jericho Sims, C, Texas

Sims played his entire high school career for hometown Cristo Rey Jesuit in Minneapolis, finishing as the school’s top career scorer with 2,005 points. He averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds as a senior.

Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga

Suggs left as Minnehaha Academy’s all-time leading scorer, with 2,945 career points, leading the Minnesota school to three state championships. He missed a chance at a fourth when his senior season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado

Wright played his entire prep basketball career for Champlin Park High School in Champlin, Minnesota, leading his team to the state title game in his senior year in 2017, when he was named Minnesota Mr. Basketball.

Josh Christopher

California (7)

BJ Boston, SG, Kentucky

Boston played for two national high school powers at opposite ends of the country, starting at hometown school Norcross in Georgia and finishing at Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California.

Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State

Christopher played all four years of prep basketball for Mayfair High School in Lakewood, California, winning the Division 2AA championship as a junior. He averaged 29.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.1 steals per game as a senior, leading his team to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals.

Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine

Edwards played all four years of high school ball for Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California. As a senior he averaged 21.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as and was named Baseline League MVP.

Jalen Green, SG, G League Ignite

For his first three years of high school, Green played for San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, California, and then moved north to Prolific Prep in Napa for his senior season. He led Prolific Prep to a 31-3 record and was named Sports Illustrated All-American player of the year after averaging 31.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and five assists per game.

Evan Mobley, F/C, USC

In his senior season at Rancho Christian in Temecula, California, Mobley averaged 20.5 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.2 blocks, and 4.6 assists per game, leading the team to a 22–8 record. He was named California Gatorade Player of the Year after his junior and senior seasons.

Duane Washington Jr., SG, Ohio State

The son of former NBA player Duane Washington and nephew of former NBA player Derek Fisher, the younger Washington played three years for Grand Rapids Christian in Michigan before transferring to Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California, for his senior year. He lived with Fisher while attending Sierra Canyon, where he averaged 15.5 points per game.

Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford

After playing his first three years of high school ball for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in Southern California, he transferred to nearby superpower Sierra Canyon for his senior season, joining Bronny James and Zaire Wade (sons of LeBron and Dwyane, respectively). He led Sierra Canyon to the CIF-Southern Section Open Division title his senior year.

Ziaire Williams
Ziaire Williams

Florida (9)

Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State

Barnes had a well-traveled high school career in Florida, starting at Cardinal Newman in West Palm Beach and transferring to University in Fort Lauderdale and finally Montverde Academy in the Orlando area for his senior year. He earned first-team All-American honors from Sports Illustrated after he and Cade Cunningham led Montverde to an undefeated season.

Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State

After playing his freshman and sophomore seasons for Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas, Cunningham transferred to Florida juggernaut Montverde Academy for his junior and senior season. After his senior year he won the 2020 Naismith High School Player of the Year Trophy and was named the nation’s top recruit by ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals and USA Today. He’s widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State

Despite standing 6 foot 8 and weighing 260 pounds, Gray played point guard for Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he played all four of his prep years. He led Dillard to the Class 6A state title as a junior and the Class 7A title as a senior.

Kai Jones, F/C, Texas

After playing in an NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in his native Bahamas in 2017, Jones enrolled at Orlando Christian Prep in Florida for his senior year of high school basketball, where he helped lead his team to a Class 3A state championship.

Tre Mann, G, Florida

A Gainesville native, Mann played his entire high school career for The Villages High School in The Villages, Florida, before playing in college for his hometown Gators. He bounced back from a torn meniscus suffered during his junior year to be selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game as a senior.

Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas

Moody moved around a lot during his high school career, starting at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, as a freshman, transferring to North Little Rock High School as a sophomore and then star-studded Montverde Academy in Florida for his final two seasons.

Filip Petrusev, C, Mega Basket

After playing on youth teams in his native Serbia and then Spain, Petrusev moved to the United States to play for the prep school Avon Old Farms in Connecticut. He transferred to Florida powerhouse Montverde Academy for his senior year and won a national championship.

Jason Preston, PG, Ohio

Preston averaged just two points per game playing two years for Boone High School in Orlando and enrolled at Central Florida, where he planned to major in journalism and not play basketball. He changed his mind and opted to attend the Tennessee prep school Believe Prep Academy, where he earned a scholarship offer from the Ohio Bobcats.

Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina

Sharpe played his first three years of high school ball for South Central High School in Winterville, North Carolina, winning a state title as a junior. He transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida as a senior to play for the No. 1-ranked team in the country.

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