With the Golden State Warriors visiting the Boston Celtics Thursday night, we have one of the best marquee NBA matchups one could ever hope for in November.
While the Warriors’ star power is unmatched, Boston has the toast of the Bay Area beat in one aspect – the number of former members of the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Basketball First-Team. When the teams meet at TD Garden, in uniform will be six players who reached such lofty prep status – four on the Celtics, and two on the Warriors.
The elder statesman of the group is Golden State reserve guard Shaun Livingston, who starred at Peoria (Ill.) Central and was named ALL-USA in 2004. The Warriors are the ninth team in Livingston’s injury-plagued career, but the 32-year-old is still going strong.
The other Warrior, of course, is reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Durant shined at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and then Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) before graduating in 2006 and heading to the University of Texas. His one year with Longhorns led into what continues to be a sensational pro career with the Sonics, the Thunder and now the Warriors.
As for the Celtics, their youth movement has seen GM Danny Ainge build a roster of former high school dynamos. Those now in green who were on the ALL-USA First Team include Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick, Elizabeth, N.J., 2010), Marcus Smart (Edward S. Marcus, Flower Mound, Texas, 2012), Jaylen Brown (Joseph Wheeler, Marietta, Ga., 2015) and Jayson Tatum (St. Louis’ Chaminade College Prep, 2016).
Before this group of six got to basketball’s pinnacle, they were among the country’s best prep prospects.