The big debate of who is the best high school basketball player in the country is an underrated topic. The 2020 basketball recruiting class is special and loaded with talent that has even had some prospects reclassify and still remain 5-stars in 2019 such as RJ Hampton, Anthony Edwards, and Johnny Juzang.
The 2021 class brings a lot of star power at the top. Terrence Clarke reclassified to 2020 when he committed to Kentucky and still remained a 5-star. He was named the 4th ranked prospect in the nation by 247 sports in the 2020 basketball recruiting class. Prospects from the 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes also appear in this list.
First we start with the hardest debate yet in high school basketball. Who is the number one basketball prospect? 2020 shooting guard Jalen Green and 2022 small forward Emoni Bates are the two best players in high school basketball hands down no debate. Ever since the age of 15, Jalen has been wowing crowds with spectacular moves and dynamic explosion.
At 15-years old Emoni Bates has a better jump shot, but he’s not as quick, fast, or explosive. Both can dominate a basketball game in multiple ways on both sides of the floor. Emoni Bates can present a bigger matchup problem while Jalen has a better all-around game.
There’s no way you can choose between the two superstars. These two will be rivals in the NBA for the near future they will both be a part of the next generation of superstars. They are tied for my number one. Yes, 2020 5-star Terrence Clarke is my number two.
I have raved about this young man ever since I first saw him play at Three Rivers high school. When he joined the super Brewster high school basketball team that’s when his star potential continued to evolve. He can play with other talented prospects and make players around him better.
2021 prospect Patrick Baldwin is a future NBA star. His size and all-around ability at 6-8 make him a prospect that could evolve to a franchise player. His game reminds you of a more polished and athletic Nicholas Batum.
2021 small forward Jonathan Kuminga is one of the best scorers in the country. He has a Kevin Durant type of game. And one of the more unstoppable offensive forces in the country.
2020 prospects Isaiah Todd, Josh Christopher, and Evan Mobley are game-changers. Todd is just as good as any prospect on this list. He is cat-quick for his size and a physical monster with an underrated long-range game. Christopher has developed into an elite two-way threat. He is the type of player you can give it to in the clutch and his energy on the floor is contagious.
Evan Mobley is the best big man in the country in any class. He continues to show a variety of skills on the court while playing dominant on the defensive side.
2022 point guard Dior Johnson might be the most dynamic point guard in the country. He can score on you quickly and knows how to get his team involved. He can light it up in a hurry but also knows how to be a true point guard and run an offense.
Greg Brown might be the most underrated player on this list. Brown can guard 5 positions and can quickly dominate a game. I don’t see 4 players better defensively in all of basketball than Brown.
Cade Cunningham really opened a lot of eyes and shot up basketball recruiting boards. He was not only ranked the number one basketball recruit by 247 sports but the number one 2021 NBA draft prospect by NBA draft room. At 6-5 he has excellent court vision and a quick first step. Cade might be the most dangerous prospect in transition.
Everyone inside the top ten can contend for the number one spot. Green and Bates are just on a different level and it will be exciting to watch them both evolve. Prospects who have the potential to be number one are Mikey Williams, LeBron James Jr, Chris Livingston, and Jalen Duren.
Dajaun Wagner jr. is the most underrated prospect on this list. Wagner can score from anywhere on anybody and continues to get better. Holmgren is the second-best two-way prospect in the country next to Evan Mobley.
- Emoni Bates/SF/Lincoln/Ypsilanti/Class of 2022, MI and Jalen Green/SG/Prolific Prep/Class of 2020
- Terrence Clarke/SG/Brewster Academy/Boston, MI/Class of 2020
- Patrick Baldwin/SF/Hamilton/Sussex, WI/Class of 2021
- Jonathan Kuminga/SF/St. Patrick/Elizabeth, NJ/Class of 2021
- Isaiah Todd/PF/Word of God Christian Academy/Class of 2020
- Josh Christopher/SG/Mayfair/Lakewood, CA/Class of 2020
- Evan Mobley/PF/Rancho Christian/Temecula, CA/Class of 202
- Dior Johnson/PG/Mayfair/Kingston, NY
- Greg Brown/PF/Vandergift/Austin, TX
- Cade Cunningham/PG/Montverde/Arlington, TX
- BJ Boston/SG/Sierra Canyon/Chatsworth, CA
- Sharife Cooper/PG/McEachern/Marietta, GA
- Michael Foster/PF/Hillcrest Prep/Phoenix, AZ
- Mikey Williams/PG/San Ysidro/San Diego, CA
- Jalen Johnson/SF/IMG Academy/Bradenton, FL
- Paolo Banchero/PF/O’Dea/Seattle, WA
- Makur Maker/C/Pacific Academy/Irvine, CA
- Jalen Suggs/SG/Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, MN
- LeBron James Jr/PG/Sierra Canyon/Santa Monica, CA
- Jalen Duren/C/Roman Catholic/Philadelphia, PA
- Chet Holmgren/C/Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, MN
- Chris Livingston/SG/Butchel/Akron, Ohio
- Dajaun Wagner jr./PG/Camden/Camden, NJ
- Jarace Walker/SF/IMG Academy/Bradenton, FL
- Jaden Hardy/SG/Coronado/Henderson, NV
Derrick Raheem”Leader” Johnson is one of the fastest rising young talented writers out. He writers for Scout.com for Villanova sports, NBA draft for nbadraftroom.com, and he is the lead college writer or Philly Sports Network. Johnson also does interviews and reports news on his personal blog page on facebook titled Leader Johnson. Johnson was Born in West Philadelphia, PA and was raised in southwest Little Rock, AR, he is known as Mr. 1on1 for always getting many 1 on 1 exclusives with some of the top athletes in high school and college, Leader also started the Success series and Villanova rundown for VUsports.com along with the Prospects Corner and Prospect Watch on nbadraftroom.com. Leader also does 1 on 1’s called the legacy series in which he interviews young athletes who parents were infamous athletes such as NBA great Ron Artest(Jeron and Ron Artest) etc. Leader has recently started the PSN college game balls given to the best performances among the chosen Philly and Pennsylvania schools and PSN NFL game balls given to best philadelphia pro team performers. The name Leader comes from Raheem setting his own standard as a writer while appreciating the writers before him.