It’s tough to honestly pick an All-American team. Gone are the days when so much of the nation’s high school basketball talent was concentrated in major cities like New York, L.A., Chicago and Philly â€“ now the game is everywhere, with superstars coming out of small Midwestern towns, previously overlooked Northwest suburbs and the football territories of the Deep South, to name a few. So even in an era where YouTube highlights and regular national TV broadcasts allow more people to see more high school stars outside their own area code, the sheer volume of quality players spread around the map can be overwhelming. As a result, hype and reputation play too much of a role in determining who gets what awards and honors, and people make lazy picks, sometimes without even having seen a kid play.
While selecting the Dime/2K Sports High School All-American Team, we aimed to give hype and rep as little weight as possible. Each of the 10 players on this list the Dime crew has witnessed multiple times, both in person and on TV, and so we can vouch: They’re legit. Regardless of class, here is the nation’s high school elite as we see it:
Myles Mack â€“ Guard
5-9, Senior, St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), College: Rutgers
Mack may be more of an undersized shooting guard than a point guard, but his size doesn’t limit his effectiveness in any way. His quickness makes staying in front of him a near impossible task for most defenders, and he’s a streaky shooter that can score in bunches from NBA range. Mack averaged 15 points, four assists and three steals per game to lead St. Anthony to a perfect 33-0 season, a state title and most important, the nation’s No. 1 overall ranking.
Austin Rivers â€“ Guard
6-4, Senior, Winter Park (Fla.), College: Duke
Good luck finding a better scorer than Rivers â€“ in any class. No one in the country, on any level, hunts and finds their offense like Rivers, son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. He’s a marksman from NBA range with the perfect combination of quickness and speed, which helps him get into the lane at will. His athleticism allows him to finish with authority. Rivers averaged 29 points and six rebounds per game en route to leading the Wildcats to their second consecutive state title. Amongst countless other accolades, you can understand why we named him the Dime/2K Sports Player of the Year.
Bradley Beal â€“ Guard
6-4, Senior, Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.), College: Florida
Beal combines Ray Allen-like accuracy with a strong upper body, which allows him to be virtually unguardable. He went for 40 points in a 76-58 nationally televised win over McCluer North in February, and averaged 32 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals per game this season. He was also named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year, after winning Gatorade Player of the Year in Missouri for the second consecutive year.
Michael Gilchrist â€“ Forward
6-7, Senior, St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), College: Kentucky
Gilchrist may very well be the most talented all-around player in the country. He’s the ultimate utility player who can break down slower defenders on the wing and post up smaller defenders in the paint. He won MVP at the prestigious City of Palms Classic and helped the Celtics (26-1) hold down the No. 1 national ranking for most of the year. Gilchrist averaged 19 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals per game this season.
Anthony Davis â€“ Forward
6-10, Senior, Perspectives Charter (Chicago, Ill.), College: Kentucky
Few, if any, combine the size and length of Davis, and know exactly how to maximize every bit of it to his advantage. Averaging 32 points, 18 rebounds, seven blocks, four assists and four steals per game this season, Davis does everything on the court. He is quicker than most big men and his footwork is second to none.
Check the next page to see who made the Second Team…