High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Elite 24

Elite 24 teams, coaches announced

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
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Under Armour Elite 24 alumni Brandon Jennings and Kemba Walker will lead the coaching staffs at this year’s event, which will be held Aug. 24-25 at Venice Beach, Calif.

Jennings, a point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks who dished out an event-record 23 assists in the 2007 game, will team with Derrick Williams, the No. 2 pick of the 2011 NBA draft, to lead the “Raymond Lewis” squad. Walker, who made 7-of-8 field goals en route to 16 points in that same 2007 game, will join forces with DeAndre Jordan, who participated in the inaugural event at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park in 2006, to lead the “Marques Johnson” squad.

Teams, in the tradition of the event, are named after Los Angeles playground legends.

Featuring 24 of the nation’s top high school basketball players, Under Armour Elite 24 participants are selected based on their performances during AAU tournaments and national summer camps by ESPN high school basketball experts.

The 2012 Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the Venice Beach outdoor courts in Los Angeles. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET Aug. 25, while the Under Armour Slam Dunk Contest will air at 7 p.m. ET Aug. 24 on ESPNU.

Raymond Lewis squad
Head Coach: Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks)
Assistant Coach: Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves)


Marques Johnson squad
Head Coach: Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)
Assistant Coach: DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)


Join our Under Armour Elite 24 fan page on Facebook and don't forget to follow the event on twitter: @UAElite24

Elite 24: Second dozen players revealed

August, 9, 2012
8/09/12
1:42
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The final 12 players selected to participate in the seventh annual Under Armour Elite 24 event at California's Venice Beach were announced on Thursday.

Featuring 24 of the nation's top high school basketball players, Under Armour Elite 24 participants are selected based on their performance during AAU tournaments and national summer camps by ESPN high school basketball experts. The first 12 players were announced last week.

The 2012 Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the Venice Beach Courts in Los Angeles Aug. 24-25. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET Aug. 25, while the Under Armour Slam Dunk Contest will air Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Aaron Gordon, ranked No. 6 in the ESPN 100, leads the class of 2013 contingent. Also included is Jabari Bird, ranked No. 20 in the ESPN 100 and Gordon's teammate on the Oakland Soldiers AAU club. The duo led the Oakland Soldiers to the Nike Peach Jam title last month. The Elite 24 roster includes five of the top 10 players in the ESPN 100.

Tyus Jones, the No. 2-ranked player in the ESPN 60, leads the class of 2014 contingent. Three of the top six players in the ESPN 60 are on the Elite 24 roster.

Five Under Armour Elite 24 players have committed to colleges: Nate Britt II to North Carolina, Aquille Carr to Seton Hall, Nigel Williams-Goss to Washington, and both Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene to Kansas.

Below is the full list of the second 12 players selected to the game. The specific team rosters and dunk contest participants will be announced prior to the event. To view the first dozen players, CLICK HERE.


Join our Under Armour Elite 24 fan page on Facebook and don't forget to follow the event on twitter: @UAElite24

First 12 players revealed for Elite 24

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
1:00
PM ET

The first 12 players selected to participate in the seventh annual Under Armour Elite 24 event have been announced.

Featuring 24 of the top high school basketball players from across the nation, the Under Armour Elite 24 participants are selected based on their performance during AAU tournaments and national summer camps by ESPN high school basketball experts.

The 2012 Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the Venice Beach Courts in Los Angeles Aug. 24-25. The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET Aug. 25, while the slam dunk contest will air Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Forward and 2011 event alum Julius Randle, ranked No. 3 in the ESPN 100, headlines the list along with first-time participant Andrew Wiggins, ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 60. Randle, of Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas) and the Team Texas Titans AAU program, is a top 2012-13 national player of the year candidate. Wiggins, who played at Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) last season and recently led CIA Bounce to the Nike Peach Jam finals, is a native of Canada.

Other event veterans include Nate Britt II, who participates in AAU ball with the D.C. Assault and will spend his senior season at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.); twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison of Travis (Richmond, Texas) and the Houston Defenders AAU club; and Aquille Carr, who preps at Patterson (Baltimore, Md.) and was a standout this summer for B'more Finest.

Britt had six points and two steals for the victorious Marques Johnson club last year. The Harrisons twins combined for 22 points and eight assists for Marques Johnson, while Carr was co-MVP for the Raymond Lewis club with 21 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and an event-record four steals.

The second dozen players, roster of teams and dunk contest participants will be announced in early August.


Join our Under Armour Elite 24 fan page on Facebook and don't forget to follow the event on twitter: @UAElite24


Big night for UA Elite 24 alumni

June, 29, 2012
6/29/12
12:05
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Four of top eight picks in 2012 NBA Draft are event alumni, including No. 3 pick Bradley Beal

Now in its seventh year, the Under Armour Elite 24 has established itself as a premier high school basketball event where players not only battle for bragging rights and streetball nicknames, but use the event's platform as a springboard to the highest level of the game.

Bradley Beal, an athletic shooting guard from Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) who starred for one season at the University of Florida, was the highest draft pick among event alumni Thursday night. Selected No. 3 overall by the Washington Wizards, the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year becomes the fifth top three NBA Draft pick who played in a previous Under Armour Elite 24 game.

Nine former Under Armour Elite 24 participants were chosen in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, breaking the previous record of eight set in 2011.

Two former high school teammates who played in the event went in the first round: Terrence Ross (No. 8) and Terrence Jones (No. 18). The duo led Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) to the 2008 Class 5A state title. The next season, Ross transferred to Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) while Jones eventually led Jefferson to three consecutive state titles.

Ten players who participated in the 2009 game in the Bronx, N.Y., were drafted Thursday night. Originally slated for world-famous Rucker Park in Harlem, inclement weather forced the game indoors to the famed Gauchos' Gym.

For the third consecutive year, the Under Armour Elite 24 will be held at the Venice Beach Courts in Southern California. The game is scheduled to tip-off Aug. 25 on ESPNU (7pm ET). A slam dunk contest, also on ESPNU, precedes it Aug. 24 (7pm ET).

History shows there's a good chance a handful of players wowing the Venice Boardwalk crowd later this summer will one day be lottery picks.

ELITE 24 Alumni Drafted to the NBA

Draft No. -- Name (Elite 24), NBA Team (Year Drafted)*

No. 1 -- Kyrie Irving (2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2011)
No. 1 -- John Wall (2008), Washington Wizards (2010)
No. 2 -- Michael Beasley (2006), Miami Heat (2008)
No. 3 -- Bradley Beal (2010), Washington Wizards (2012)
No. 3 -- Derrick Favors (2008), New Jersey Nets (2010)
No. 4 -- Dion Waiters (2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2012)
No. 4 -- Tristan Thompson (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2011)
No. 4 -- Tyreke Evans (2006-07), Sacramento Kings (2009)
No. 5 -- Kevin Love (2006), Memphis Grizzlies (2008)
No. 7 -- Harrison Barnes (2009), Golden State Warriors (2012)
No. 8 -- Terrence Ross (2009), Washington Wizards (2012)
No. 8 -- Brandon Knight (2008), Detroit Pistons (2011)
No. 9 -- Kemba Walker (2007), Charlotte Bobcats (2011)
No. 9 -- DeMar DeRozan (2007), Toronto Raptors (2009)
No. 10 -- Austin Rivers (2009-10), New Orleans Hornets (2012)
No. 10 -- Brandon Jennings (2006-07), Milwaukee Bucks (2009)
No. 11 -- Cole Aldrich (2006), New Orleans Hornets (2010)
No. 11 -- Jerryd Bayless (2006), Indiana Pacers (2008)
No. 12 -- Xavier Henry (2007-08), Memphis Grizzlies (2010)
No. 13 -- Kendall Marshall (2009), Phoenix Suns (2012)
No. 13 -- Ed Davis (2007), Toronto Raptors (2010)
No. 14 -- Anthony Randolph (2006), Golden State Warriors (2008)
No. 16 -- Luke Babbitt (2007), Minnesota Timberwolves (2010)
No. 17 -- Jrue Holiday (2007), Philadelphia 76ers (2009)
No. 18 -- Terrence Jones (2009), Houston Rockets (2012)
No. 19 -- Tobias Harris (2009), Charlotte Bobcats (2011)
No. 19 -- J.J. Hickson (2006), Cleveland Cavaliers (2008)
No. 21 -- Jared Sullinger (2009), Boston Celtics (2012)
No. 21 -- Nolan Smith (2006), Portland Trailblazers (2011)
No. 24 -- B.J. Mullens (2007), Dallas Mavericks (2009)
No. 25 -- Tony Wroten Jr. (2008-09), Memphis Grizzlies (2012)
No. 26 -- Jordan Hamilton (2008), Dallas Mavericks (2011)
No. 28 -- Donte Greene (2006), Memphis Grizzlies (2008)
No. 29 -- Cory Joseph (2009), San Antonio Spurs (2011)
No. 33 -- Kyle Singler (2006), Detroit Pistons (2011)
No. 35 -- DeAndre Jordan (2006), L.A. Clippers (2008)
No. 37 -- Trey Thompkins (2007), L.A. Clippers (2011)
No. 38 -- Quincy Miller (2010), Denver Nuggets (2012)
No. 39 -- Jeremy Tyler (2008), Charlotte Bobcats (2011)
No. 40 -- Will Barton (2009), Portland Trail Blazers (2012)
No. 40 -- Lance Stephenson (2006-08), Indiana Pacers (2010)
No. 42 -- Doron Lamb (2008-09), Milwaukee Bucks (2012)
No. 43 -- Devin Ebanks (2007-08), L.A. Lakers (2010)
No. 49 -- Josh Selby (2009), Memphis Grizzlies (2011)

*Players in bold drafted this year

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

2012 Under Armour Elite 24 announced

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
4:23
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The seventh annual Under Armour Elite 24 will be held in Los Angeles at the Venice Beach outdoor courts Aug. 25 and will be televised live on ESPNU (7 p.m. ET). The event also will showcase a slam dunk contest on Aug. 24 (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET).

Featuring 24 of the nation’s best high school players, the Under Armour Elite 24 was held at the famed Rucker Park in Harlem its first four years. Since 2010 it has been held in Los Angeles and will return to Venice Beach for the third consecutive year.

Last year before an overflow crowd of more than 2,500, the Marques Johnson Squad defeated the Raymond Lewis Squad 142-132. Each squad, in the tradition of the event, are named after local playground legends.

Marques Johnson team MVPs were UCLA recruit Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), who finished with 18 points and eight assists, and Virginia recruit Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian (Portland, Ore.), who finished with 23 points.

Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), also headed to UCLA, and Aquille Carr of Patterson (Baltimore, Md.) were named MVPs of the Ray Lew team.

Rosters for the 2012 event will be announced at a later date.

Prominent alumni through the event's first six years include NBA All-Star Kevin Love (Timberwolves), 2010 No. 1 NBA Draft pick John Wall (Wizards) and 2011 NCAA Final Four MOP Kemba Walker (Connecticut). Two Under Armour Elite 24 alumni were named NBA Rookie of the Year -- 2010 honoree Tyreke Evans (Kings) and 2012 honoree Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), the No. 1 pick in last year's NBA Draft.

Alumni Bradley Beal (Florida), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Terrence Jones (Kentucky), Austin Rivers (Duke) and Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) are expected to be high picks in this year's NBA Draft.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

Aquille Carr: Who do you think you are?

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
8:00
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Aquille Carr and Nate RobinsonKelly Kline, Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty ImagesPoint guard Aquille Carr, left, is happy to be compared to Golden State's Nate Robinson, who is similar in size and build.
This summer, ESPNHS will sit down with some of the nation's elite players to break down their game, talk about the inevitable comparisons to college and pro players and get their take on who they pattern their game after.

Player: Aquille Carr
School: Patterson (Baltimore, Md.)
Position: Point guard
Height/weight: 5-6/145
ESPN 100: No. 78

Who is Aquille Carr?

This right-handed guard is arguably the most exciting player in high school basketball. Known for flashy offensive play, the diminutive Carr scored 1,990 points through his first three seasons of high school. As a freshman, Carr pumped in 25.5 points per game. As a sophomore, he averaged 32 points, six assists and five rebounds and led the Clippers to a 25-2 record and the Class 4A state title. Affectionately known as "The Crime Stopper" because the crime rates in Baltimore supposedly go down during Patterson games, Carr's continued improvement in translating his crowd-pleasing play into Patterson wins culminated in the state title game this year. The Seton Hall commit scored 28 points and dished out eight assists. Last summer, Carr solidified his status as one of the nation's top players by earning co-MVP honors at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 with 21 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and four steals. He set an event record for most steals and only Brandon Jennings dished out more assists in a single game.

Scouting report

According to ESPN RecruitingNation, Carr's quickness, explosiveness and confidence make him an elite talent in the 2013 class. On the flip side, ESPN's scouts believe Carr's size will limit him at some point if he doesn't tone down his game, make the simple basketball play and learn to play without the ball. Many of the abilities a player his size needs at the Division I level -- quick hands and feet, compact strength, court awareness and jumping ability -- he already possesses. The abilities Carr's game lacks right now -- a jump stop to avoid charges, a pull-up to keep bigger defenders off balance and a quick catch-and-shoot to offset his height -- he can learn. If he can channel his skills on the defensive end like he does with the ball in his hands, Carr will be an impact college player.

Most frequent comparisons: Nate Robinson, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Shawnta "Nut" Rogers

ESPNHS comparison: Nate Robinson

There are noticeable similarities between Carr and the current Golden State Warriors guard. Obviously their height (Robinson is listed at a generous 5-foot-9) and compact bodies stand out. Both can absorb contact and finish in the key. Robinson has won the NBA's slam dunk contest three times, while "The Crime Stopper" is a YouTube sensation for his highlight reel dunks and acrobatic layups. Many felt Robinson had a more realistic shot at a career in the NFL rather than the NBA. He was a top 100 basketball prospect, but earned a football scholarship to Washington, where he played both sports. Carr has a football background, too, playing Pop Warner as a ninth-grader. He's expressed interest in playing for Patterson, but basketball coach Harry Martin said he'd be considered, "one of the dumbest coaches in the country" if Carr got hurt on the gridiron.

Aquille's comparison: Nate Robinson

Carr loves the comparison to Robinson, if nothing more than to inspire improvement in his own game.

"It's a great comparison because our sizes are similar," Carr said. "He's a little stronger, but that comes from working hard."

With a unique confidence rarely seen in a player his size, Carr doesn't pattern his game after just any one player. He doesn't want to be the second anyone, just the first Aquille Carr.

Carr is also compared to a pair of Baltimore high school legends: former Dunbar sparkplug Muggsy Bouges, the shortest player ever to compete in the NBA at 5-foot-3, and playground legend Nut Rogers, the former Lake Clifton star who at 5-foot-4 was the 1999 Atlantic-10 Player of the Year for George Washington after leading the league in points, assists and steals.

"Aquille has played against Rogers and has spoken to Muggsy," Martin said. "I played against Rogers in high school and he was bigger in terms of weight and strength, but Aquille is much faster with the basketball. Muggsy was better defensively. He was phenomenal getting in and underneath his man. Aquille needs work on the defensive end, but he expends so much energy for us on offense we have him check the weaker guard. We want him to trap because he has great instincts."

If Carr improves in the areas Martin mentioned at Seton Hall, he could join Bouges (1987), Rogers (1999) and Robinson (2005) as winner of The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the NCAA's best senior under 6-foot.

Despite his well-known bravado, Carr is savvy enough to understand that if he takes his game to the NBA level, he won't be the top scoring option for his team like he is now. Even if he doesn't want to, his game will have to pattern Robinson's.

"He's real scrappy and that's how he gets things done," Carr said.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

HS players say bring on NBA All-Stars

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
9:00
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Julius Randle is a forceful, 6-foot-9, 235-pound slab of man with shoulders as wide as a small compact and Pogo Stick-like jumping ability that allows him to dominate the opposition in so many different ways it’s almost unfair.

Randle
Scott Kurtz/ESPNHSJulius Randle glides past Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams at the Elite 24 Midnight Run.
From a consistent mid-range jump shot to a plethora of effective post moves to picking the defense apart with crisp passes, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is arguably the toughest player in the country to defend, regardless of class, and yet that’s not the reason he’s dominant enough to be considered the No. 2 junior in the country.

“It’s my mindset, more than anything,” Randle said. “I’m the kind of player that doesn’t think anyone can stop me when I play my game. No one.”

He isn’t kidding, and that blunt bravado isn’t just confined to the high school game.

When asked if he thought he could make a significant impact in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, Randle responded with a resounding, “Yes!”

“I just think that I could do my thing in that setting,” Randle said. “I’m not saying I’d be the best player on the court, but I could contribute. I could definitely contribute.”

Don’t be so quick to chalk Randle up as a silly teenager whose confidence is further along than his game, because he’s not the only elite high school player who thinks he’d fare well at the NBA All-Star Game.

Nerlens Noel, a senior center at Tilton (N.H.) who is the top ranked player in the ESPNU 100, said that he’d bypass contributing and dominate in the laid back setting.

“I mean, think about it, they don’t really play a whole lot of defense anyway in the All-Star Game,” Noel said. “They don’t contest dunks or anything. Oh yeah, I think I could get in there and drop a 30-piece on the low.”

Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) point guard Tyler Lewis was a little more practical.

“I think I could create a lot of highlight dunks for my teammates with my passes,” said Lewis, an N.C. State signee. “I definitely think I could produce.”

Call it foolish pride or downright delusional, but the general consensus among high school ballers was that they could be productive players.

Still, as Randle continued to daydream about suiting up with the most elite basketball players on the planet reality began to set in.

“You know I think because I’m in high school they would play harder defense on me,” Randle said. “I don’t think anyone’s gonna want to get scored on by the high school guy. So that would make it a little harder. I think the biggest thing would be that everyone on the court is a great athlete. You can’t get by off that strength or athleticism like you can in high school. You’ve got to have a skill set to be out there.”

Added Shabazz Muhammad: “It would be a huge change to play against that level of talent. NBA All-Stars? That would be tough.”

Still, Rasheed Sulaimon had a valid point.

He and 23 of the top high school players in the country, including Noel, Muhammad and Randle, held their own against NBA stars like Kemba Walker, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings and Derrick Williams in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Midnight Run in Los Angeles last August.

And, truth be told, the NBA All-Star Game is little more than a glorified pick-up game filled with SportsCenter-esque highlights.

“Playing against the pros at the Elite 24 gave us a taste of what the NBA is like,” said Sulaimon, a Duke signee. “But still, we’re talking about the best players in the entire world. I’m confident, but I’m a realist too.”

And just when a glimmer of reason brightens the otherwise skeptical subject matter, the competitor inside of Sulaimon begins to battle the realist.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I think my best chance is to hit a lot of threes. I think I could get about 10 of them.”

The competitor wins.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

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