We’re mere days away—hours, if you push me!—from waving goodbye to our beloved 2010s. The decade is almost over—and will most probably be by the time you catch this—so I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some of the most important and interesting facts the grassroots and high school level of hoops have yielded during the past ten years. I will be taking a look at individual players, full classes, high schools, cities, states, etc... during this series in order to provide a broad view of what the decade we’re leaving was up to and who the agents involved in it were. Let’s get to it!
We’ve gone through individuals and high schools, but we haven’t put something too mainstream these days together: which seniors have formed the best Big-Twos during the past decade? With the NBA trashing the three-player model and flipping it for one comprised of two superstars surrounded by good role players, it’s time to look at which one-two punches have ranked the best as prospects during the past ten years.
Again, I’ll use my own data set, which is mostly based on 247Sports Composite rankings and includes other additional notes. To make this list I’ll focus on the best players of each class and high school, trying to find the highest-ranked ones attending the same institution on the same graduation year.
Here we go!
2013 Fort Bend Travis, Richmond (TX)
Leader: No. 5 (PG) Andrew Harrison
Second-fiddle: No. 6 (SG) Aaron Harrison
Family Matters, indeed. The Harrison twins were always linked—how fitting—and played together from the womb to college-ball at Kentucky, where both spent a couple of years before going pro in 2015—Andrew as a second-round pick and Aaron as a UFA. That’s the thing to care the least about, though.
When they were balling at Travis they forged one of the best one-two combos to grace the woodwork. No wonder, considering they promised each other to go for the kill against anyone to step in front of them instead of battling for brother supremacy. I guess that type of dominance is what happens when you have a close one pushing you from sunrise to sunset. Aaron fell short of it, but Andrew was able to feature on both the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDAAG in 2013. Just a pair of Harrisons.
2012 Notre Dame Preparatory School, Fitchburg (MA)
Leader: No. 5 (C) Steven Adams
Second-fiddle: No. 11 (SG) Ricky Ledo
What are the chances a kid from New Zealand can become a world-beater and known around the whole country at age 18? I don’t know, but you can always go ask Steven Adams. The Kiwi moved to the USA for his senior HS year and found the perfect partner-in-crime in Ricky Ledo, a stubborn guard big enough to hit Js over any defender who dared to try to stop him.
This story was so close to not being history at all, as Ledo decided to stay in Notre Dame Prep at the very last second after pondering other options for his senior year, but that combined with the arrival of Adams built one of the greatest pairs in high school hoops to kick off the decade.
2017 La Lumiere School, La Porte (IN)
Leader: No. 8 (PF) Jaren Jackson
Second-fiddle: No. 19 (SF) Brian Bowen
Does the name ring a bell? If you’re following hoops at the highest of it levels these days, you must have heard about a certain JJJ, Triple-J, or simply put, Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzly. Well, it turns out the future—our present—was kinda written for JJJ back in 2017 when he was already a top-10 baller at La Lu. Unsurprisingly, Brian Bowen joined him at the Indiana prep for their senior year after being a highly-touted player since he was 15—yes, those DI colleges were already after him by then.
Both Jaren and Brian became part of the McDAAG in 2017—Bowen also participated in the Jordan Brand Classic—after making La Lu the no. 1 team in the state and a top-10 team in the national landscape. The Louisville recruiting scandal caught Bowen and that slowed down his run to the NBA a bit, but he’s already part of the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants while on a two-way contract with the Pacers. Just a matter of time for BB to make it to the grand state.
2010 Findlay Prep, Henderson (NV)
Leader: No. 11 (PG) Cory Joseph
Second-fiddle: No. 12 (PF) Tristan Thompson
A couple of kids from Ontario ranked 11th and 12th in the nation? Hard to believe. Both playing at the same high school, in the middle of Nevada? Insane in the brain. Until Joseph and Thompson pulled it off balling for Findlay Prep, of course. Lucky break that Tristan’s relation with his coach in his junior season made him move places, joining AAU friend and teammate Joseph at Findlay.
Already there, both went on to lift the first natty for the Nevada prep in 2009 still as juniors, and by the end of their senior seasons both made it to the McDAAG with Thompson also part of the Jordan Brand Classic roster. In what might seem an effortless run given their steady success at a young age, the Canadian pair also lifted the chip in 2010 after beating no less than powerhouse Montverde in the national final. No doubt they both became first-rounders later and got themselves an NBA ring each. The past was telling already.
2019 Ranney School, Titon Falls (NJ)
Leader: No. 7 (SF) Scottie Lewis
Second-fiddle: No. 16 (SG) Bryan Antoine
The most-recent of greatest pairs comes from New Jersey, precisely Ranney School. Ranney what!? Ranney School. Truth be told, Ranney is a new kid in the block and the first prospect to be nationally ranked didn’t play there until 2018—a no. 415 though. Fast forward a year and both Scottie and Antoine flipped the script big time in Tinton Falls. The duo was able to lift Ranney all the way to the state final and well, ultimately brought the gold home.
The chip was great and all, but the path to it is what speaks volumes of this pair’s abilities: more than 100 wins in their Ranney careers. Jeez. I have no footage, but I’m convinced Scottie broke more than one rim dunking in practices, while Antoine was becoming one of the most feared wings on his way to Nova. Sure-thing NBA draft picks next summer. You can lock that in.