By: Joe Pohoryles
The DC area is a major source of young basketball talent, with many local high schools competing on the national stage and producing some of the best players for the next level. The best of the best manage to go to the NBA, where they represent the DMV no matter where they go.
Following yesterday’s NFL All-DMV Team, I have assembled the best active players who played in DC, Maryland or Virginia for high school basketball. In the same way that Fork Union players dominated the NFL team, former Oak Hill Academy players make up a large portion of the players from Virginia. Just like Fork Union, Oak Hill attracts players from all over the country, which can muddy the waters when it comes to true area natives.
In any case, the 12-man roster has an impressive collection of current players, and would likely be extremely competitive in today’s NBA (although it would not fit under the salary cap).
G Terry Rozier, Hargrave (VA) / Charlotte Hornets
G Victor Oladipo, DeMatha (MD) / Indiana Pacers
F Rudy Gay, Archbishop Spalding (MD) / San Antonio Spurs
F Carmelo Anthony, Towson Catholic/Oak Hill (MD/VA) / Portland Trail Blazers
F Kevin Durant, Montrose Christian (MD) / Brooklyn Nets
F Montrezl Harrell, Hargrave (VA) / LA Clippers
G JJ Redick, Cave Spring (VA) / New Orleans Pelicans
G Rajon Rondo, Oak Hill (VA) / Los Angeles Lakers
F Jeff Green, Northwestern (MD) / Houston Rockets
G Markelle Fultz, DeMatha (MD) / Orlando Magic
F Jerami Grant, DeMatha (MD) / Denver Nuggets
G Josh Hart, Sidwell Friends (DC) / New Orleans Pelicans
With the team dominated by Maryland and Virginia players, Josh Hart is the only DC representative because he is the only active NBA player who attended high school in DC, according to Basketball Reference. With the rest of the team, Maryland leads the way with seven, and Virginia is second with five. Carmelo Anthony played in both Maryland and Virginia, so he is counted for both.
On paper, this team has all the ingredients for a championship contender. Kevin Durant is a top five player in the league when healthy — arguably top three — and no team can win in today’s NBA without a top-tier player leading the way. Victor Oladipo is the perfect sidekick: an All-Star guard in his prime. Anthony is a former elite scorer who would complement Durant’s scoring ability nicely, and Terry Rozier’s play would likely be elevated by the stars around him.
Outside of the main core, every contending team needs the perfect mix of veteran leadership and young talent; this roster checks both boxes. Rudy Gay, Jeff Green and JJ Redick are all proven veteran producers. Montrezl Harrell is one of the best bench players in the NBA, and would be a fantastic sixth or seventh man. Rajon Rondo is a pass-first point guard that could be mixed in off the bench.
Markelle Fultz is rising from the depths of the “bust” label and has flashed tons of potential, and Jerami Grant and Hart are both solid, young depth guys on their respective teams. If salary cap weren’t an issue, this team could do some serious damage. (Rozier’s inflated contract is the biggest issue).
The team lacks a true center, but as basketball becomes more and more positionless, that shouldn’t be a major liability, as the talent should compensate.
DeMatha has the most representation on the roster, with three former Stags on the team, and Oak Hill and Hargrave have two each. The New Orleans Pelicans are the only team with two representatives with Redick and Hart, and none of these players currently play for the Wizards. Green played in Washington last season, but no one else has ever played for the organization.
Grant’s brother, Jerian, also played at DeMatha and was drafted by the Wizards 19th overall in the 2015 draft, but was traded to the New York Knicks on draft night. The Wizards landed Kelly Oubre, who was drafted 15th overall by the Atlanta Hawks. Jerian currently plays for the G League’s Capital City Go-Go.
Though none of these guys plays in DC today, they still represent the plethora of talent that DC, Maryland and Virginia have to offer.
(Cover Photo Credit: Durant- The MoCo Show; Anthony- Amazon.com; Oladipo- Amino Apps)