05.14.20 | Newsletter
Past Classic teams, players earn MaxPreps all-decade honors
How special was the powerhouse Montverde Academy team, which won the City of Palms Classic last year and finished 25-0? MaxPreps believes the Eagles were the best team of the past decade.
And two stunning plays by Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons during the Classic made the Top 10 Most Memorable High School Basketball Plays of the Decade by MaxPreps.
MaxPreps put Montverde on top in its Top 10 High School Boys Basketball Teams of the Past Decade. Led by National Player of the Year Cade Cunningham, Montverde was unstoppable, beating opponents by 39 points a game and collecting seven wins against Top 25 teams.
The Montverde team, which won the 2013 Classic, also made the Top 10 list at No. 6. Producing a 28-0 record, the Eagles were led by a magical list of talent – Simmons, Justin Bibbs, Jordan Caroline, Chris Egi and D’Angelo Russell. All but Egi went on or are currently playing professional basketball.
Other teams that have participated in the tournament to also make the Top 10 list were Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy (No. 3), Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei (No. 5) and Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep (No. 10). The 2017-18 Montverde team also made the list at No. 8.
Ball’s play, which ranked No. 10, was a well-schooled cross over against a discombobulated defender during the 2015 tournament. Ball, playing for Chino Hills (Calif.), darted to his left, dribbled the ball between his legs and suddenly moved to his right, sending the defender flying onto his back. The defender was called for a blocking foul on the play. Not to inflict any further embarrassment on him, Ball extended a hand to help the player to his feet.
Ball and his two brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo, led Chino Hills to the Classic title and a perfect 25-0 record that season.
Lonzo Ball is currently a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. He was the second overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA draft
Simmons’ classic, which checked in at No. 9, came during the 2014 tournament while he was a senior at Montverde Academy. The 6-foot-10 Simmons faked a jump shot at the foul line and while the defender was in the air, the future NBA star moved to his left, bounced the ball high into the air near the rim and slammed it home to the cheers of a delirious crowd at Bishop Verot High School.
Simmons, the MVP of the 2014 City of Palms Classic while leading Montverde to the title, was the top pick in the 2016 NBA draft, launching what has been a standout career with the Philadelphia 76ers.