Whether it’s the location, coaching staff, luck, skill within players, all of the above or entirely something else, certain high schools have the upper hand on producing professional athletes. This article will provide a brief description of some of the best high schools sports programs in the country along side with an analysis of why each school is producing high level athletes.
5. IMG Academy
We begin with the prestigious IMG Academy that produces pro athletes like chickens produce eggs. IMG outperforms their competitors simply because of their 600 acre campus and world class facilities that even reel in current professional athletes to train on campus during the offseason.
The coveted academy often hosts professional athletes during the offseason to train as well. The inaugural preseason of Premier League Lacrosse was held at the incredible facilities of IMG.
World class athletes have decided to train on the prestige IMG Academy campus. 23 time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, four time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler and even Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson all have decided to lace up a pair and train at IMG.
IMG Academy has been the academic home to world famous athletes such as the late great and former Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez, former NBA 1st round pick Anfernee Simmons, University of Michigan Quarterback Shea Patterson and even NFL Placekicker Josh Lambo.
4. Oak Hill Academy
Oak Hill Academy may not have a strong football or baseball team, but they can match or dominate anyone on the basketball court. Oak Hill is on a different level of producing world class basketball players. The world class coaching staff of Oak Hill is led by Steve Smith and Bryan Meagher. The team throughout the years have proved domination and winning multiple national tournaments.
The boarding school in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, has been the home to many current and former standout basketball players. Former third overall pick in the 2003 draft, Syracuse standout, 2003 NCAA Champion Carmelo Anthony has walked the halls of Oak Hill Academy. Not only has Carmelo been the result of Oak Hill’s fantastic basketball program, but names like NBA MVP, NBA Champion, NBA Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant has also been a notable alumni.
Other notable alumni of Oak Hill have been former 22nd overall pick Jordan Adams, former 2nd overall pick Michael Beasley, current Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, NBA Champion Quinn Cook, the famous Jerry Stackhouse and even former NBA Champion Rajon Rondo.
3. DeMatha Catholic High School
DeMatha Cathlotic High School of Hyattsville, Maryland, has a long tradition of athletic excellence, producing a large number of superstars throughout multiple generations
In basketball alone, there are more than 15 players that have stepped foot on an NBA Court. Names such as Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley, phenom Victor Oladipo and former 1st round draft pick Markelle Fultz have all attended DeMatha Catholic.
Basketball isn’t the only sport that DeMatha dominates in; The school success on the gridiron is almost as impressive as it holds many former and current NFL Players such as Linebacker Mike Johnson, Defensive End Cameron Wake, Offensive Tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and even standout Running Back Brian Westbrook.
The schools athletic success isn’t only confined to basketball and football. Dereck Mills won a gold medal in track and field at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Drew Yates and Jordan Graye play professional soccer, and owner and player of Premier League Lacrosse Paul Rabil – walked the halls of DeMatha Catholic.
2. Long Beach Polytechnic
Similar to each of the schools previously listed, Long Beach Poly located in Long Beach, California, has a plethora of successful athletic alumni. A theory on why Long Beach Poly is so successful is because of the location near the water resulting in nice weather all year round. This gives Long Beach Poly a competitive edge against other high schools.
None of the schools above match or come close to Poly’s absurd and diverse production. Over 50 professional athletes – in 11 different sports have realized their professional dreams.
On the diamond, baseball greats Tony Gwynn and Chase Utley have walked the Poly halls.
On the hardwood, Jordan Bell and Tyus Edney played on the Poly courts.
Even Tennis great Billie Jean King played on the Poly courts
Within the gridiron, elite athletes such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mercedes Lewis and even DeSean Jackson have made Poly fans proud of their accomplishments in the NFL.
Some of the lower-ranked schools may have the upper hand in star power but none are able to face that strength with Long Beach Poly’s sheer numbers or unique diversity.
1. St Thomas Aquinas
We end our national tour with a stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with St Thomas Aquinas; A school that have given talent to the pros in just about every way imaginable.
Foluke Akinradewo, a professional volleyball player and was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Sanya Richard-Ross took part in the very same Olympics and won gold in the Women’s 400-meter race.
Without a doubt, St Thomas Aquinas excels in more traditional sports besides Volleyball and Track and Field.
Eric Eichmann led the way for St Thomas Aquinas on the pitch and eventually suited up for the 1990 US Mens Soccer National Team.
Not to be limited by soccer, St Thomas Aquinas excels in tennis and gold aswell, producing world champions in both categories. Three notable Aquinas alum have been able to reach pro status, though Hall of Famer Chris Evert is clearly the most accomplished of the stars. On the links, 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner only adds the resume of St Thomas Aquinas
The difference between every other school on this list and Aquinas, is its success on the football field. World class names such as Geno Atkins, Nick and Joey Bosa, James White and Michael Irvin lead the way of prestige NFL Players from Aquinas
In a group of giants, St Thomas Aquinas stands the tallest with the history, prestige, number and dame to claim the most athletic high school in all of America.
(P/C: USA Today – https://usatodayhss.com/2016/img-academy-asks-georgia-high-school-association-to-strike-down-bylaw)