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BURLISON: Top prep stars of the '70s

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Frank Burlison

 
   
 
Prep sensations of the '70s
Player Ht. Class School
Raymond Lewis 6-1 ¿71 Verbum Dei (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Legend when it comes to Southern California hoops. He died last year without ever making a mark in the NBA -- he played just one varsity season at Cal State Los Angeles -- and it¿s too bad he never had a national stage to show off his skills. Piicture a player combining the skills of Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby, Andre Miller (another Verbum Dei grad) and Stephon Marbury, and you¿ll have a notion of what it was like to watch Lewis. And, if you were just 15 years old like I was when I first saw him play, there¿s no doubt you would be infected with hoops fever forever.
Earvin Johnson 6-8 '77 Everett (Lansing, Mich.)
Even before he won a national title at Michigan State and NBA championships with the Lakers and became better known as Magic, this guy¿s wizardry with a basketball was absolutely startling. Albert King of New York and Eugene Banks of Philly came to the 1977 Capital Classic I in Landover, Md. with bigger national reps. But, after watching just one practice, I knew this guy was the player bound for something really big. And oh, was he ever ...
Clark Kellogg 6-8 ¿79 St. Joseph¿s (Cleveland, Ohio)
I saw all of the very best members of the Class of ¿79 (courtesy of the Derby Festival Games, held in Louisville and Lexington that spring) and I was convinced that he was the best of the bunch. Who else was in the class? Oh, guys like Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Byron Scott and Dominique Wilkins ...
Isiah Thomas 6-1 ¿79 St. Joseph¿s (Westchester, Ill.)
At the time, I thought he was the most complete high school guard I¿d seen since Raymond Lewis. Come to think of it, he still is.
James Hardy 6-8 '75 Jordan (Long Beach, Calif.)
He was (in my humble opinion, anyway) the most gifted player in the best-ever California class of talent that also included Bill Cartwright, David Greenwood, Reggie Theus, Brad Holland, Bill Lambert, and Roy Hamilton. If they had come around in 2002, four of those guys might have bypassed college for the NBA ...

Tagged: Cavaliers, Lakers, Nets, 76ers, Suns, Kings, Andre Miller, Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby, Louisville, Southern California, California, Michigan State, Michigan

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