The future of college basketball has arrived. SLAM’s 2022 High School Boys All Americans are an elite group of certified bucket-getters who are already making serious waves on the court.
From Amari Bailey to Naismith Player of the Year Dariq Whitehead, here’s who we’ve selected to our SLAM All American roster:
Sierra Canyon High School (Chatsworth, CA)
His time is now. Moving from Chicago to the bright lights of Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles, Amari Bailey has been a staple for the Trailblazers in his four years with the program. A state champion, gold medalist, McDonald’s All American—there’s not much else for Bailey to achieve. That is, until he goes across town to UCLA’s campus, where he will look to elevate the excellence of Mick Cronin’s program in the hills.
Wilbraham & Monson (MA) Academy
Modern day basketball loves Kyle Filipowski. Whether you need a bucket, a dime from the top of the key or a defensive stop, the big man can do all of the above and more. Son of former Parade All American and Long Beach State center Rebecca (Hagerdon) Filipowski, Kyle was born into basketball, like his brother Matt, who will play for Harvard in the fall. Kyle will head to Durham to form a frightening frontcourt duo with Dereck Lively.
IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
He’s one of one. Keyonte George is a crafty guard who can score on all three levels at will. Just ask those who he gave buckets to at the 2021 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup tournament en route to a gold medal. He’ll be heading to Baylor this fall to join Scott Drew’s squad with the hopes of raising a different type of gold next spring.
Westtown School (West Chester, PA)
Seven-footers shouldn’t move like this. Then again, basketball runs through Dereck Lively’s blood. His mother, Kathy Drysdale, was a 1,000-point scorer at Penn State University. His hooper genes helped him go from a 7-year-old hesitant to play basketball to one of the top prospects in his class. After an outstanding high school career, he’ll be the anchor down low for a new era of Duke basketball post-Coach K. Housing a winner’s heart, Lively is sure to make some noise with the Blue Devils.
Nick Smith Jr
North Little Rock (AR) High School
Hometown legends live forever. Nick Smith Jr will be no exception to this rule, as the Arkansas born-and-raised hooper will join Eric Musselman’s squad at the University of Arkansas in the fall. Smith Jr has had a prolific senior year, capturing the 6A Arkansas State Championship, being named a McDonald’s All American and winning the 2022 Jordan Brand Classic MVP, along with many others. Simply put, this kid will give opposing teams nightmares for years to come.
Montverde (FL) Academy
Watch your head. Newark’s Dariq Whitehead is an uber-athletic wing destined to break his family’s football traditions. All of his older siblings played football, and his brother Tahir has played 10 years in the NFL. However, at 13 years old, Dariq made the difficult decision to attend Montverde Academy and commit to basketball full-time. Since then, he’s won two national championships and was named the 2022 Naismith HS Player of the Year and the 2022 McDonald’s All American Game MVP. Whitehead will look to continue his winning ways at Duke this fall.