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Honoring the best of the best from three decades of high school boys basketball

American Family Insurance ALL-USA 30th Anniversary: Awards



LeBron James, who starred at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), is the only boys basketball player who was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA first team three times. / AP

USA TODAY Sports has been honoring the best players in high school basketball since 1983. As we unveil the 30th Anniversary American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Basketball Team, here are a few superlatives from the past three decades.  



Best Player: LeBron James
James, who starred at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), is the only boys basketball player who was named to the ALL-USA first team three times. James was named ALL-USA Player of the Year as a junior and senior before the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft. Asked then where he hoped to be in 10 years, James told USA TODAY Sports, “On an NBA roster, and married with two kids.” The three-time league MVP has raised two sons with his high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson. The couple is set to marry this summer. How’s that for prescience?

MORE: LeBron's 'Save the Date' card

Best Year: 2002
In addition to James, who was the Player of the Year, the 2002 ALL-USA first team featured New York Knicks teammates Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton. The other first team selection, Hassan Adams, had a short-lived NBA career after starring at Arizona, while James’ Miami Heat teammate, Chris Bosh, was named to the second team.

MORE: 2013 American Family Insurance ALL-USA boys basketball team


Chris Webber -- one-fifth fabulous. / Duane Burleson, USA TODAY Sports

Best Recruiting Class: Michigan
Four members of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" were named to the 1991 ALL-USA team. Juwan Howard and Chris Webber were named to the first team, while Jalen Rose and Jimmy King were named to the third team. Sorry, Ray Jackson, you were always the forgotten one.

MORE: UK's recruiting class eclipses 'Fab Five' as best in modern era

Best College Destinations: North Carolina and Kentucky
The Tar Heels and Wildcats have both welcomed 14 first team ALL-USA selections since 1983, more than any other school. Three ALL-USA Players of the Year (J.R. Reid, Rasheed Wallace and Harrison Barnes) went to North Carolina. Nerlens Noel (2012) is the only ALL-USA Player of the Year to go to Kentucky. This year’s ALL-USA Player of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, has yet to announce his college choice, but North Carolina and Kentucky are among his final four candidates. Predictable.

MORE: Top college destinations for first team selections


The Mamba has no fear. / Eileen Blass, USA TODAY Sports

Best Answer: "I don't really have one."
That’s what Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.) senior Kobe Bryant told USA TODAY Sports when asked to share his greatest fear after being named the ALL-USA Player of the Year in 1996. Bryant’s fellow first team honorees opted for more traditional answers, such as "falling off a building" (Jermaine O'Neal) and "deep water" (Tim Thomas). Bryant’s answer was perfect for one of the game’s all-time greats, though the five-time NBA champion has since revealed he’s terrified of bees.

Best Stat: Rasheed Wallace Ejections
After Wallace was named ALL-USA Player of the Year in 1993, he told USA TODAY Sports that he only fouled out once during his high school career at Simon Gratz (Philadelphia). Wallace, who averaged 7.2 blocks per game as a senior and recently retired from the NBA for a second time, set a league record for technical fouls (41) during the 2000-01 season.

 

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