THE BEST: Georgia's greatest basketball players of all time
With the impact these players made during both their high school careers AND careers following high school, here are Georgia’s all-time girls and boys basketball teams. The starters are listed first with their school name, graduation year and bio, followed by the reserves.
Teresa Edwards (Cairo, 1982): Edwards capped off her high school career by leading her team to a Class AAA state championship and being named a high school All-American. Earning All-SEC honors at Georgia, she led the Lady Dogs to three SEC titles, two Final Fours and one national title game appearance. To top it off, Edwards helped the United States win five Olympic medals (four gold and one bronze).
Delisha Milton-Jones (Bradwell Institute, 1993): The Naismith High School Player of the Year for 1992 and 1993, Milton-Jones’s last Bradwell Institute team went 29-0 before losing in the state title game. She went on to play collegiately at Florida where she was the 1997 SEC Player of the Year. Professionally, she is a two-time WNBA All-Star and has played for two world championship teams. Milton-Jones also has two gold medals from the 2000 and 2008 Olympics.
Lea Henry-Manning (Southwest Georgia Academy, 1979): Playing for the non-GHSA Southwest Georgia Academy, Henry-Manning was named a Kodak All-American as a senior. She moved on to become a four-year starter at Tennessee, helping the Lady Vols win an SEC title and compete for several national titles. From there she assumed the role of starting point guard of the 1984 United States Olympic team, helping the women win a gold medal.
Cindy Brogdon (Greater Atlanta Christian, 1975): After helping GAC win a Class C state championship as a freshman and Class B state championships as a junior and senior, Brogdon played collegiately at Mercer. Not only was she named a collegiate All-American in 1976, but she was also a part of the USA’s gold medal-winning Olympic team. Brogdon later played one season in the Women’s Basketball League.
Maya Moore (Collins Hill, 2007): Despite being less than two full seasons removed from high school, Moore is already well accomplished. Moore led Collins Hill to three consecutive Class AAAAA state championships and was named the Naismith Player of the Year as a senior. Now at Connecticut, Moore’s Huskies reached the Final Four and she won Big East Player of the Year honors as freshman last year. This season, Moore helped the UConn women finish the regular season undefeated.
RESERVES: Sherril Baker (Greater Atlanta Christian, 2002); Kiesha Brown (Woodward Academy, 1996); Tasha Butts (Baldwin, 2000); Deborah Denton (Pace Academy, 1985); Tasha Humphrey (Gainesville, 2004); Tracy Waites (Rockdale County, 1984)
Dwight Howard (Southwest Atlanta Christian, 2004): Howard parlayed several national player of the year awards and a Class A state championship into being the first selection of the 2004 NBA Draft. Since being chosen by the Orlando Magic, Howard has become perhaps the most dominant center in the NBA, shooting just under 60 percent from the field and averaging 20 points and 14 rebounds per game last season. He also started for the 2008 gold medal-winning Olympic team.
Walt Frazier (Howard, 1964): Frazier was a star at Atlanta’s Howard High School during the days of segregation. He later showed his talents at Southern Illinois where he led the team to an NIT Championship in 1967. Still, he will always be remembered as the point guard for the New York Knicks, winning the 1970 and 1973 NBA championships. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
Jeff Malone (Southwest Macon, 1979): Playing in one of the most dominant high school programs and on the most dominant team the state has ever seen, Malone helped Southwest Macon win the Class AAA state championship as a junior and the Class AAAA state championship as a senior. He then moved on to play collegiately at Mississippi State, where he averaged over 26 points per game as a senior and was co-SEC Player of the Year in 1983. He took his scoring ability to the NBA, averaging 19 points per game while playing for five teams in his 13-year career.
Dale Ellis (Marietta, 1979): Ellis’s prep career for the Blue Devils did not include any state championships but he was a star nonetheless, earning a scholarship at Tennessee. He was twice named the SEC Player of the Year in college and was eventually drafted to the NBA by Dallas. Ellis made his mark with Seattle, however, as he set the franchise record for points with 2,253 in the 1988-89 season, averaging 27.5 per game. Ellis played 17 seasons in the NBA.
Mike Mitchell (Price, 1974): A sometimes forgotten about Georgia high school hoopster, Mitchell played collegiately at Auburn and made his mark in the NBA, averaging double figures in points in all 10 of his seasons. Mitchell’s career-high average of 24.5 points per game came in 1980-81; he also made the Eastern Conference All-Star team that season, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
RESERVES: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Wheeler, 1995); Willie Anderson (East Atlanta, 1984); Horace Grant (Hancock Central, 1983); Norm Nixon (Southwest Macon, 1973); Elmore Smith (Ballard-Hudson, 1967); Josh Smith (McEachern, 2003); Tree Rollins (Crisp County, 1973).
This list was compiled by James Butler and other Score Atlanta writers. Butler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.