The inaugural SI All-American Boys Basketball Team features 15 of the top high school basketball players in the country, broken up into three teams, who have displayed exceptional dominance during the high school season. Each player has exhibited a level of play this season that will make them a household name at the next level and beyond.
SI will unveil the Second Team on Thursday and the First Team and Player of the Year on Friday.
Here's who made the SI All-American Third Team.
F: Paolo Banchero, O’Dea (Seattle), 2021
Schools of Interest: Duke, Kentucky, Washington, North Carolina, Gonzaga, among many others
Why He’s an SI All-American: Banchero followed up a state title run as a sophomore with summer dominance that earned him Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Underclassmen of the Year honors and an appearance in the state title game this high school season. Banchero averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks a game for the Fighting Irish who finished 23-6.
What He Said: “I grew up reading Sports Illustrated so this means a lot. I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work my whole life and to see it pay off in this way is motivating and humbling.”
SG: Terrence Clarke, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), 2020
Signed to: Kentucky
Why He’s an SI All-American: Clarke solidified his standing as one of the country’s top scoring guards, averaging 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and three assists a game this season while playing on a roster stocked with Division I talent. Clarke led Brewster to a 34-3 record and the finals of the National Prep Championships before the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What He Said: “I feel blessed and overly excited to be a part of the SI All-American team. This was one of my goals going into my high school career and to achieve it makes me feel even more motivated. A lot of hard work was put in to get to this point and it makes me want to work even harder to accomplish even more goals in the future.”
SF: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.), 2021
Schools of Interest: Duke, North Carolina, UW-Milwaukee, Kansas, Kentucky, among many others
Why He’s an SI All-American: Baldwin followed up a dominant summer on the Nike EYBL by averaging 24.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game for the Chargers, who finished 22-3 this season. Baldwin lived up to the proverbial hype after averaging 17.4 points and 4.8 rebounds a game with Phenom U (Wis.), despite playing alongside multiple elite players.
What He Said: “It’s really crazy to think about all these things that are happening now. I just remember coming into the season thinking solely about winning basketball games, now that the season is over and I’ve been selected as an SI All-American I just see this as an added bonus to the season that I and my team had. It’s really special to be selected as an SI All-American.”
SF: Emoni Bates, Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.), 2022
Schools of Interest: Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida State, DePaul, among many others
Why He’s an SI All-American: Bates is widely regarded as the top high school prospect in the country, regardless of class. He responded to that pressure by averaging 31 points and 10 rebounds a game and led the Railsplitters to a 19-3 record. Bates eclipsed the 40-point-mark five times season, including a 63-point outing in February.
What He Said: “I’m honored and thankful for the people who voted for me. I want to thank the Creator for blessing me, for my health and seeing me through another successful season. Most importantly my family’s support; I have a great support system. I’m going to take it all in, yet there’s still a long road ahead.”
SG: Josh Christopher, Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.), 2020
Schools of Interest: UCLA, Michigan, Missouri, Arizona State
Why He’s an SI All-American: Christopher solidified his standing as one of the country’s top scoring guards this season, averaging 29.2 points, eight rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.1 steals per game for the Monsoons. Christopher managed the high point total despite playing in the backcourt with another elite scoring guard in Syracuse commit Dior Johnson (25 ppg.).
What He Said: “It’s a blessing from God to be recognized as a Sports Illustrated All-American because the franchise has roots, history and prestige in the basketball world. It shows that the hard work is paying off! It’s also an honor to be honored alongside the other elite talents. They deserve all the awards they receive too, and I wish nothing but the best for each one of them.”