NBA: High Schoolers vs International Players

In a follow up to “Which College Basketball Conference has the Best Players?“, I figure I’d take a look at NBA players who bypassed college and went straight to the NBA as well as International players.  With the new NBA rules in place, these will be the last High School players to jump straight to the NBA.

What no one remembers about the mass exodus of HS players to the NBA is that it was all started by the fact that Kevin Garnett could not pass his boards and would have to sit out a year before he was eligible to play in college ball.  He was all set to go to Michigan, didn’t pass his ACT or SAT, entered the NBA draft and got picked 4th overall.  This opened the floodgates for everyone from stars like Kobe Bryant to busts like Korleone Young to guys who never even sniffed an NBA team.

Anyway, lets take a look at the lineups.  As good as the ACC team would be, either of these teams should be able to handle them.


Lebron James in High SchoolHigh School – This team is loaded and pretty much unbeatable – well, at least an unbeatable on paper as a USA team.  How good defensively would a lineup of Howard, Garnett, Josh Smith, Kobe and McGrady be?!

C – Dwight Howard (Amare Stoudamire)
F – Kevin Garnett (Al Jefferson)
F – Tracy McGrady (Josh Smith)
G – Kobe Bryant (Rashard Lewis)
G – Lebron James (Stephen Jackson)

Other notable players – Jermaine O’Neal, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, Monta Ellis, Kendrick Perkins, Andray Blatche, Al Harrington, JR Smith, Travis Outlaw


International Players – Definitely the deepest of all the teams we’ve looked at as you could literally make up 7-8 rosters of quality NBA players.  Note that I disqualified players who went to college in the US from this team because they already would have been eligible for the conference teams.  So there’s no Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Luol Deng, Samuel Dalembert, etc.

Dirk Nowitzki playing for the German national teamC – Yao Ming (Mehmet Okur)
F – Dirk Nowitzki (Andrei Kirilenko)
F – Pau Gasol (Hedo Turkoglu)
G – Manu Ginobili (Peja Stojakovic)
G – Tony Parker (Leandro Barbosa)

Other notable players – Andres Nocioni, Anderson Varejao Nene, Boris Diaw, Juan Carlos Navarro, Luis Scola, Mickael Pietrus, Andrea Bargnani, Andris Biendrins, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Carlos Arroyo, DeSagana Diop, Marko Jaric, Nenad Krstic, Darko Milicic, Vladimir Radmanovic, Bostjan Nachbar, Beno Udrih, Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Calderon


While we’re on the topic of High School players, take a look at some of the players in the 1995 McDonald’s HS All-American game.  If there ever been a more talented group of HS basketball players together in one place, I would love to hear about it.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Chauncy Billups, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ron Mercer, Robert Traylor, Wayne Turner, Shammgod Wells and more!


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