2003 Rivals Top 10 – Under Review

Posted: March 24, 2012 by DeadBefore50 in Basketball

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations a total of 548,844 boys participated in the 2009-10 High School basketball season. The brave folks over at Rivals annually take up the daunting task to rank the best of those half million participants, and then publish the results for public consumption. Given the scope of the assignment the Rivals team has more than held its own. Some of the prospects (LeBron James #1 2003, Dwight Howard #1 2004) so outperform their peers they all but rank themselves. Others (Paul Milsap #143 2003) prove this is not an exact science and future NBA standouts can fly under the radar. The following is a look at the Rivals Top 10 (2003), how they fared, and my stab at re-Ranking the class based on actual performance. (Note: Player’s first name is a link to his original Rivals profile, with the last name a link to his ESPN Player’s card)


#1 LeBron James Guard
High School Akron, Ohio, St. Vincent-St. Mary
College Bypassed and entered 2003 NBA Draft
Pro Drafted (’03) #1 overall, NBA MVP (2009, 2010), 1st team All NBA (2006, 2008-11)
#2 Luol Deng Forward
High School Blair, New Jersey, Blair Academy
College Duke 15.1 pts and 6.9 Rebounds in only Season at Duke
Pro Drafted (’04) #7 overall, Career avg. of (16.4) Pts and (6.0) Rebounds
#3 Shannon Brown Guard
High School Maywood, Illinois, Proviso East
College Michigan St. 17.2 pts per game in 05-06 season led to entry into ’06 Draft
Pro Drafted (’06) #25 overall,  decent off the bench scorer (7.2 avg)
#4 Ndubi Ebi Forward
High School Houston, Texas, Westbury Christian
College Arizona Signed, but opted for entry into 2003 NBA Draft
Pro Drafted (’03) #26 overall, played (19) NBA games over (2) seasons,scored (40) pts.
#5 Charlie Villanueva Forward
High School Brooklyn, New York, Blair Academy
College Connecticut  Best season (04-05) campaign of 13.8pts and 8.3 Rebounds per gm
Pro Drafted (’05) #7 overall. Career avg. of (12.6) Pts and (5.6) Rebounds
#6 Kendrick Perkins Center
High School Beaumont, Texas, Ozen
College Memphis Committed, but opted for 2003 NBA Draft
Pro Drafted (’03) #27 overall, leader/enforcer type. Career avg. of (6.2) Pts and (6.2) Reb
#7 David Padgett Center
High School Reno, Nevada, Reno
College Kansas (03-04)  Louisville (05-08)
Pro Was not Drafted, signed to Miami Heat (08) Portland Trailblazers (09) Summer League
#8 James Lang Center
High School Mobile, Alabama, Central Park Christian
College Bypassed and entered 2003 NBA Draft
Pro Drafted (’03) 2nd rd 19th pick, played in just (11) NBA games (06-07)
#9 Brian Butch Center
High School Appleton, Wisconsin, Appleton West
College Wisconsin Best season was Sr. year, averaged (12.1) Pts and (6.2) Rebounds
Pro Was not Drafted, signed in 2010 by Denver Nuggets, waived, didn’t appear in any gms
#10 Leon Powe Forward
High School Oakland, California, Oakland Tech
College California Solid Fr season, Soph season severe knee injury, Jr. (20ppg, 10rpg)
Pro Drafted (’06) 2nd Round 19th Pick, role player. Career avg. of (6.2) Pts (3.8) Reb
Right on target : #1 LeBron James, #2 Luol Deng
Off the mark : #9 Brian Butch, excluded #8 James Lang (injury/health derailed career)
Hindsight is 20/20 Top 10
#1 Lebron James (#1)
#2 Chris Paul (#14)
#3 Luol Deng (#3)
#4 Paul Milsap (#143)
#5 Kendrick Perkins (#6)
#6 CharlieVillanueva (#5)
#7 Shannon Brown (#3)
#8 Aaron Brooks (#34)
#9 Kris Humphries (#15)
#10 Trevor Ariza (#18)

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