Top Ten Series: Georgia HS Players 2015-2019
While LakePoint Hoops has hit the pause button on our events, that doesn’t mean we have to stop talking about our great sport. In the meantime, our LakePoint Hoops staff members Dan McDonald and Carter Wilson will bring you rankings of different topics every single day to hopefully get you through until basketball is back on our campus.
Today, we’re ranking the top 10 players to come out of Georgia from 2015 thru 2019. After reading our lists and reasoning, please go vote in our poll on our Twitter account @LakePointHoops to let us know which list you like more.
1. Jaylen Brown (Wheeler 2015)
2. Anthony Edwards (Holy Spirit 2019)
3. Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook 2017)
4. Wendell Carter (Pace Academy 2017)
5. Chuma Okeke (Westlake 2017)
6. Malik Beasley (St. Francis 2015)
7. Isaac Okoro (McEachern 2019)
8. Ashton Hagans (Newton 2018)
9. Jared Harper (Pebblebrook 2016)
10. Kobi Simmons (St. Francis 2016)
This was an incredibly tough list to put together as we have had some really good players come through the Peach State in the last five years. With my list, I tried to factor in high school, travel ball, college and NBA career where it applies along with simply how good of a player he is.
The top spot wasn’t terribly difficult as Jaylen Brown has dominated every stop in his career and continues to get better and better for the Boston Celtics. Anthony Edwards will be in the mix for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft after averaging around 19 points per at Georgia and a dominant high school and travel ball career. Collin Sexton’s jump unknown nationally to lottery pick in the span of about 30 months was really impressive and nobody has brought bigger crowds than him. Wendell Carter was a state champion at Pace Academy, a star at Duke, and also a lottery pick in the NBA. Chuma Okeke beat out the two guys I have right ahead of him for Mr. Georgia Basketball in 2017 and helped Auburn reach the Final Four last year. He could easily be a spot or two higher here.
Malik Beasley is another one on this list to win a state championship, experience great college success, and now performing well in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Isaac Okoro is a few years behind Beasley but followed in his footsteps with a 2019 state championship at McEachern on an undefeated season and a terrific freshman year at Auburn. He’s projected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Ashton Hagans didn’t get win a state championship but played on some really good Newton teams and has been a star at Kentucky the past two seasons. Jared Harper joined Okeke in playing a key role in Auburn’s Final Four run. His prep career included a run to the 2016 state championship with Pebblebrook where they lost to Okeke’s Westlake team and a Nike Peach Jam championship win with the Georgia Stars in 2016 alongside Wendell Carter. Lastly, the fact Kobi Simmons is last on this list just
shows the strength of it. He was a state champion at St. Francis and then played a year at Arizona before moving up the NBA.
1. Jaylen Brown (Wheeler 2015)
2. Anthony Edwards (Holy Spirit Prep 2019)
3. Wendell Carter (Pace Academy 2017)
4. Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook 2017)
5. Isaac Okoro (McEachern 2019)
6. Chuma Okeke (Westlake 2017)
7. Malik Beasley (St. Francis 2015)
8. Josh Okogie (Shiloh 2016)
9. Ashton Hagans (Newton 2018)
10. Tookie Brown (Morgan County 2015)
I'm right on board with Dan in saying that this was a tough list to put together from a group of great classes of players to come out of Georgia. This list is full of really good pros and soon-to-be-pros and we could look back at these years being very special in the Peach. Current Boston Celtic and former Wheeler standout Jaylen Brown tops the list. Brown just signed a huge extension in Boston and for good reason. He's averaging over 20 points a night for the C's, and we all remember the career that he had as a prep player, capping it off with state championship-winning free throws his senior season. Anthony Edwards falls in at number two, and he could see his name called number one at the upcoming NBA Draft. Georgia's 2017 class starts coming in at number three, and it was one of the best classes that I've ever seen from the state. Wendell Carter won a state title at Pace Academy in dominant fashion and is now a walking double-double for the Chicago Bulls. Behind him is Collin Sexton, who will live in Atlanta basketball history as one of the most well-liked and highly followed bucket getters the metro area has ever seen. He's still scoring at a high volume in the NBA for the Cavs at over 20 points per game. The next soon-to-be-pro is at five in Isaac Okoro. Through his prep career I was always at the front of the bandwagon for him, and I love his game and everything he does to help his teams win. Don't be surprised if he ends up a high lottery pick in the upcoming draft. Chuma Okeke is at six. Chuma won Mr. Basketball for that loaded 2017 class, and deservedly so, with one of the most dominant senior seasons that I have seen in my time covering hoops. Two NBA teammates fall in at seven and eight in Malik Beasley and Josh Okogie. There are striking similarities between the two in my eyes in terms of hard-working and ever-improving players. Two of the most enjoyable careers I have had the pleasure of seeing play out from high school to the ACC to the NBA. Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans is at nine. The best defender on this list and a true floor general. He will find his way to the next level soon enough and make another pro added to this list. Last is Tookie Brown of Morgan County. One of the most consistently dominant prep and college careers, surpassing 3000 points in high school and the only player in Sun Belt history with 2000 points & 500 assists for Georgia Southern. He is currently having a pro career overseas.