I love when questions like these come across my timeline. As someone who went to a small school in Worcester, MA it wasn't like we were loaded with elite, professional sports talent. My high school had 200 kids in it and I think maybe someone walked onto BC once. I remember having to go to see basketball games at Worcester Academy so I could see elite talent like Jarrett Jack and Craig Smith. Seeing them do 360s in the layup lines didn't even seem real. But even all these years later I still remember the best player/athlete I've ever seen in person, and that was a high school aged Rashad McCants. Remember him?
It all went down at this basketball tournament at Clark University. I don't really remember what is was for or who else was there, but I do remember sitting next to Jarrett Jack's dad and all he would do was talk about how his son was going to the league. We all knew that already, you go to one WA game and you saw all the big name college coaches in the stands. I still remember seeing Quin Snyder when he was at Missouri.
Well there was a game where WA was playing McCants' team and that is where I saw the most impressive thing anyone has done on a basketball court while in high school. I'll never forget how a player missed a FT and McCants essentially came out of nowhere and dunked the miss basically taking off from the FT line. It was insane. I knew right then that my future was not in basketball. I think I was in 9th grade or some shit like that. I had probably just come down from being so excited about touching backboard on a layup in practice. I was most certainly not dunking missed FTs from the foul line.
McCants sort of flamed out in the NBA but to be fair he had to play in MIN/SAC. Nobody survives that so I don't really consider it his fault. I suppose Jack is the player who I saw growing up that ultimately had the best professional career, but McCants is 100% the best athlete.
Who is it for you?