Mr. Basketball USA Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon highlight 50-player honor squad
The 2012-13 All-American elite team presented by GrassrootsHoops.net includes 45 of the nation’s best seniors, led by Mr. Basketball USA Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.).
Seventeen seniors and three talented juniors, including National Junior of the Year Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young (Chicago), are among the top 20 selected players to the overall first team.
A 30-player second team , which includes two additional juniors, has been chosen.
This year’s GrassrootsHoops.net All-American team does not include any sophomores. The class player of the year among tenth-graders is guard Malik Newman of Callaway (Jackson, Miss.). The National Freshman of the Year is Eron Gordon of North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.).
National coach of the year honors goes to Kurt Keener of Detroit Country Day (Birmingham, Mich.). After 35 years with the program, Keener is retiring from teaching and taking the basketball job at Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.). At DCD, Keener won nine state titles and coached the likes of 1991 Mr. Basketball USA Chris Webber and the Miami Heat’s Shane Battier.
Publisher and Editor Ronnie Flores selected this performance-based squad with input from Mr. Basketball USA panelists.
2012-13 GrassrootsHoops.net All-American First Team
G — Nigel Williams-Goss, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-3 Sr.
Emotional and floor leader of a team that went on a 54-game winning streak the past two seasons. Went from a player who raised eyebrows for his selection to last summer’s Under Armour Elite 24 to a bonafide Mr. Basketball USA Candidate as a senior. Averaged 18 points and seven assists per game for a 35-1 team.
F — Andrew Wiggins, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) 6-7 Sr.
This year’s Mr. Basketball USA recently chose the University of Kansas. The commit was a bit surprising, but the reaction and the “best prospect since LeBron James” talk were a bit over the top. Wiggins is the first foreign born Mr. Basketball USA since 1994 pick Felipe Lopez (Dominican Republic), who ironically is a player Wiggins compares favorably to.
F — Jabari Parker, Simeon (Chicago) 6-8 Sr.
Duke recruit was last season’s Gatorade National Player of the Year and our National Junior of the Year last season, but a lingering summer injury put him behind the eight ball all season in the Mr. Basketball USA race. Parker did finish his senior campaign strong, including a 29-point, 13-rebound performance in a sectional title game win over rival Whitney Young. He averaged 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists for a team that won its fourth consecutive Class 4A state title and went 118-15 in his four seasons.
F — Aaron Gordon, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 6-8 Sr.
Joined prep legends such as Bill Cartwright, John Williams and Jason Kidd as a two-time CalHiSports.com Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. This season, Gordon averaged 21.6 points and 15.6 rebounds for a 29-6 team that didn’t have another D1 recruit on it. Gordon finished his four-year prep career with two state title and an appearance in the first ever Open Division state title game. In those three games, he averaged 24.3 points and 20.3 rebounds.
C — Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young (Chicago) 6-9 Jr.
Our National Junior of the Year, Okafor was in serious contention for Mr. Basketball USA honors until Whitney Young was routed by Jabari Parker and Simeon, 69-51, in a sectional final. In nearly every other game Okafor played in against tough competition, he dominated the paint. For the season, Okafor averaged 20.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks for the Chicago Public League champions.
G — Tyus Jones, Apple Valley (Minn.) 6-1 Jr.
He just missed making the elite second team last year as the second sophomore (Andrew Wiggins made it) and even though his scoring numbers went down, he elevated his game and team this season. This cerebral point guard averaged 20.9 points, 7.6 assists and 3.1 steals for a 30-1 team that Jones led to the Class AAAA state title.
G — Nick Emery, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 6-1 Sr.
The top player on a once-in-a-generation type small state team, Emery led the Knights to their third consecutive Class 5A state title. Headed to BYU, Emery led Lone Peak in scoring (17.9) and also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. The Knights finished ranked No. 3 in the Top 50 team rankings with a 26-1 mark and were 89-13 with Emery in the lineup.
G — Aaron Harrison, Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas) 6-4 Sr.
Twin brother and point guard Andrew may be the higher rated recruit, but it was shooting guard Aaron who was the most consistent performer for the repeat Class 5A state champions. Aaron averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Andrew’s number were not as gaudy while battling a hamstring injury, but he did step up in the run to the state title. The twins are headed to Kentucky as part of John Calipari’s No. 1 rated recruiting class.
F — Rondae Jefferson, Chester (Chester, Pa.) 6-7 Sr.
Perhaps the nation’s best “glue” player, numbers (15.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.0 rebounds) don’t due justice to Jefferson’s impact on the game. Even though Chester lost in the Class AAAA, Jefferson was named the AAAA player of the year by the state’s sportswriters. Jefferson can score and defend from multiple positions and led Chester on a 61-game winning streak during his time in the lineup.
C — Luke Fischer, Germantown (Germantown, Wisc.) 6-10 Sr.
Led the Warhawks to consecutive Division I state titles and a 56-game winning streak, which is the nation’s longest entering the 2013-14 season. The state’s Mr. Basketball, Fischer shot 64 percent from the field while averaging 21.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots. Fischer is headed to Indiana.
G — Kasey Hill, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-1 Sr.
Moves up from the second team after helping the Eagles to the mythical national title with a 26-2 mark. He had only modest numbers (15 ppg, 10 apg) playing with three other All-American caliber players (second teamer Dakari Johnson, senior Devin Williams, junior D’Angelo Russell), but Hill was the player with the ball in his hands when it mattered most. Hill’s dribble drive set up the game-winning 3-pointer by Jalyn Patterson as time expired in Montverde’s 67-65 win over St. Benedict’s for the NHSI title.
G — Conner Frankamp, North (Wichita, Kan.) 6-1 Sr.
The nation’s best pure shooter, Frankamp averaged 31.1 points while shooting 49.2 percent on 93 made 3-pointers and 91.7 percent from the free throw line. A two-time all-state choice, Frankamp scored 40 or more points five times and scored 2,275 career points. That mark broke the City League record held by 2012 All-American Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights (2,231).
F — Jabari Bird, Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) 6-5 Sr.
It was a stellar season for Northern California basketball, as Mitty’s Aaron Gordon was a Mr. Basketball USA finalist, Antioch Deer Valley’s Marcus Lee was a McDonald’s All-American and two others received All-American acclaim, including Bird. As a junior, Bird led Salesian to the CIF Division IV state title and as a senior was named the state’s Division IV player of the year. The Cal-bound wing finished his prep career with 2,019 points.
F — Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-6 Jr.
The CalHiSports.com State Junior of the Year, Johnson was a close runner-up to first five selection Aaron Gordon for California state player of the year. He was named Division I state player of the year and will challenge Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones for national honors next season. Armed with an improved jumper, Johnson averaged 19.4 points and 8.7 rebounds for the CIF Open Division champs.
F — Noah Vonleh, New Hampton Prep (New Hampton, N.H.) 6-9 Sr.
One of the nation’s top rebounders, Vonleh is a versatile offensive player who can score inside or out. After reclassifying back to the 2013 class, Vonleh promptly took his place alongside the nation’s elite talents. A McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American, Vonleh put up 17 points and 12 rebounds per game for a New England prep school program that competed primarily against teams with post-graduates.
G — Tyler Ennis, St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) 6-3 Sr.
If there was anyone remotely close to a McDonald’s snub this past season, Ennis was probably it. Ennis was the catalyst for a 32-2 team that came within one buzzer-beating 3-pointer of a mythical national title. Ennis averaged 20.8 points and 6.1 assists and played a big role in the Gray Bees snapping winning streaks of 83 (St. Anthony’s of New Jersey) and 54 games (Findlay Prep of Nevada).
G — Stephen Clark, Douglass (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 5-10 Sr.
This Oklahoma State recruit is not as highly-regarded as a prospect as most of the other All-Americans, but his high school resume is just too strong to ignore. Led the Trojans to their fourth consecutive Class 4A state title, netting 51 points in a two-point state title game win in the process. If Frankamp is not the nation’s best shooter, Clark probably is (36.8 ppg, 94 % FT).
F — Nick King, East (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-7 Sr.
Memphis has long been a great breeding ground of talent and this year in particular the city and state had a plethora of All-American candidates. After this four-year starter averaged 24.4 points, 15.7 rebounds and shot 40 percent from 3-point range, he was named TSWA Division I player of the year over talents such as Leron Black (White Station) and Jajuan Johnson and Johnathan Williams III (both Southwind). He was also named the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s “Best of the Preps” Player of the Year.
F — James Young, Rochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) 6-6 Sr.
You know a recruiting class is special when a player of Young’s caliber is considered a “secondary” recruit. That’s what he is for Kentucky despite his McDonald’s All-American accolades. The Class A State Player of the Year, Young beat teams with his outside shooting or strong drives to the basket, scoring 26.4 points and grabbing 14.2 rebounds per game in the process.
F — Semi Ojeleye, Ottawa (Ottawa, Kan.) 6-7 Sr.
Wrapped up a decorated prep career by leading his team to a 25-0 record and Class 4A state title. Averaged 38.1 points and set the all-time state single-season scoring mark (952 points) in the process. Also the state’s all-time leading scorer, this Duke recruit was so dominant against his competition he was able to shoot 38 percent from 3-point range (making 96) and nail 82 percent of his free throws.
Second Team (30):
C — Akoy Agau, Central (Omaha, Neb.) 6-8 Sr.
G — Bryce Alford, La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) 6-3 Sr.
G — Dakarai Allen (Sheldon, Sacramento, Calif.) 6-5 Sr.
C — Cliff Alexander, Curie (Chicago) 6-9 Jr.
F — Brandon Austin, Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-6 Sr.
G — Anthony Barber, Hampton (Hampton, Va.) 6-2 Sr.
G — Joel Berry, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 6-1 Jr.
F — Rodney Bullock, Kecoughtan (Hampton, Va.) 6-8 Sr.
G — Aquille Carr, Princeton Day Academy (Bowie, Md.) 5-6 Sr.
C — Joel Embiid, The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.) 6-11 Sr.
G — Keith Frazier, Kimball (Dallas) 6-5 Sr.
G — Brannen Greene, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 6-6 Sr.
G — Isaac Hamilton, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 6-5 Sr.
F — Isaiah Hicks, Webb (Oxford, N.C.), 6-9 Sr.
G — Robert Hubbs, Dyer County (Newbern, Tenn.) 6-4 Sr.
F — Zak Irvin, Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) 6-7 Sr.
F — Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 6-6 Sr.
G — B.J. Johnson, Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.) 6-6 Sr.
C — Dakari Johnson, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-10 Sr.
G — JaJuan Johnson, Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-5 Sr.
G — Rysheed Jordan, Vaux (Philadelphia) 6-4 Sr.
G — Matt Jones, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas) 6-4 Sr.
G — Zach LaVine, Bothell (Bothell, Wash.) 6-3 Sr.
F — Jarell Martin, Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) 6-8 Sr.
C — Eric Mika, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 6-9 Sr.
F — Austin Nichols, Briarcrest (Eads, Tenn.) 6-8 Sr.
F — Bobby Portis, Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-9 Sr.
F — Roschon Prince, Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 6-6 Sr.
G — Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Columbia (Decatur, Ga.) 5-10 Sr.
C — Chris Walker, Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.) 6-9 Sr.
National Junior of the Year
Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young (Chicago) 6-9 C
This overpowering center was dominant against national competition and was named the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year over heralded senior Jabari Parker of Simeon. Okafor averaged 20.7 points and 8.8 rebounds for a team that finished No. 6 in the final FAB 50 and won the tough Chicago Public League title. Last season, Parker was the runway choice for this honor, but this season point guard Tyus Jones of Minnesota of forward Stanley Johnson of California were given serious consideration. The last time players from the same state were chosen as the nation’s top eleventh-grader in back-to-back seasons was in 1999 and 2000. DeShawn Stevenson from Washington (Easton, Calif.) earned the honors in 1998-99, but the next season junior Tyson Chandler from Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) edged him for CalHiSports.com Mr. Basketball honors.
National Sophomore of the Year
Malik Newman, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) 6-3 G
This scoring sensation repeats as class player of the year and with normal progression should be in the running for All-American honors next season. Newman led the Chargers to their second consecutive Class 5A state title and No. 19 Southeast regional ranking by pumping in 23 points and grabbing 5.3 rebounds per game. He broke the state freshman scoring mark held by Monta Ellis, Mississippi’s last national sophomore of the year back in 2003. Newman was the first freshman ever named first five All-State by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. This past season, he became the state’s first sophomore ever named Mr. Basketball.
National Freshman of the Year
Eron Gordon, North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) 6-2 G
For the second consecutive season, a 6-foot-2 scoring guard is named player of the year among ninth-graders. Gordon, the younger brother of 2007 first five All-American and current New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon, started off his prep career with a 31-point performance against rival Indianapolis Pike and was a honorable mention AP all-state pick. The first selection from Indiana since Bedford North Lawrence’s Damon Bailey in 1987, Gordon finished the season averaging 19.3 points for a 16-6 team that played solid Class 4A competition.
Note: ESPN selections 2010-2012; EA SPORTS selections 2003-2009; Student Sports selections prior to 2003; Selections are based on high school accomplishment, not future college/pro potential, and are reflective of those that lead their teams to state championships. The editors of GrassrootsHoops.net do not knowingly select fifth-year players, and those ineligible due to age or academics, Mr. Basketball USA or to its various All-American teams.