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Class of 1999

Posted on November 24 2019

In this ongoing series, The Chucker, High Volume Shooters’ resident historian, revisits the annual rankings of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects. Today, The Chucker studies the Class of 1999.

 The Chart Topper: The first showstopper recruit in the Billy Donovan era at Florida, Donnell Harvey helped propel the Gators to the 2000 Final Four, where they lost to Michigan State in the national title game. Harvey’s career in Gainesville, however, was short lived. The 6-8 forward entered the NBA Draft after his freshman year and the Knicks selected him with the 22nd pick. The Georgia native played five NBA seasons for five different franchises. 

The Highest Rated “Who?”: Leon Smith. The mammoth Smith played at King High in Chicago, a Windy City powerhouse throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and decided to skip college and enter the 1999 NBA Draft. San Antonio selected him with the final pick of the first round, but immediately traded him to Dallas. Plagued by mental health issues, Smith didn’t appear in an NBA game until January 17, 2002, when he debuted for Atlanta. In two NBA seasons, Smith played a total of 104 minutes for Atlanta and Seattle.


The Diaper Dandy: Jay Williams. The New Jersey native immediately starred on a Duke squad that featured two other notable freshmen in Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy. Williams averaged nearly 15 points and 7 assists per contest in sparking Duke to a 29-5 record.

The Best NBA Player: The Class of 1999 included nine players who produced at least 50 career win shares in the NBA, including mainstays like Boozer, Jamal Crawford, Jason Richardson, Dunleavy, and Kirk Hinrich. The best of the bunch, however, might be Joe Johnson. The 10th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, “Iso Joe” enjoyed a 17-year NBA career and earned seven All-Star nods. While Johnson’s NBA run appeared to be over after the 2017-2018 campaign, the Detroit Pistons signed the 38-year-old swingman to a deal in September 2019 after he was named MVP of the Big3 league.

The Sleeper: A fringe 100 candidate by most talent evaluators, Gilbert Arenas excelled at Arizona, pushing the Wildcats to a Pac-10 title as a freshman and national runner-up finish as a sophomore. Leaving Arizona after his sophomore season, Arenas was a second-round pick of the Golden State Warriors. He found stardom in Washington, landing on three All-NBA teams and averaging nearly 21 points over 11 NBA seasons.

19nine Connections: As a freshman at Michigan State, Jason Richardson was a role player on a beloved Spartans’ squad that won the national championship and looked good doing it in Grecian-inspired shorts.

Class of 1990 Top 50 Basketball Prospects

*Courtesy of Hoop Scoop

Donnell Harvey

Cuthbert (Randolph Clay) GA


Keith Bogans

Hyattsville (DeMatha) MD


Ken Satterfield

New York (Rice) NY


Jason Williams

Metuchen (St. Josephs) NJ


Marvin Stone

Huntsville (Grissom) AL


Caron Butler

Pittsfield (Maine Central Institute) ME

Maine Ctl. Inst.

LaVell Blanchard

Ann Arbor (Pioneer) MI


Jason Parker

Charlotte (West Charlotte) NC

North Carolina

Carlos Boozer

Juneau (Douglas) AK


Casey Sanders

Tampa (Tampa Prep) FL


Kevin Gaines

Las Vegas (Clark) NV


Casey Jacobsen

Glendora (H.S.) CA


Brett Nelson

St. Albans (H.S.) WA


Travis Watson

Mouth of Wilson (Oak Hill) VA


Joe Forte

Hyattsville (DeMatha) MD

North Carolina

Jason Kapono

Lakewood (Artesia) CA


Leon Smith

Chicago (Martin Luther King) IL


Jason Gardner

Indianapolis (North Central) IN


Jason Richardson

Saginaw (Arthur Hill) MI

Michigan State

Majestic Mapp

Bronx (St. Raymond's) NY


Rod Grizzard

Birmingham (Central Park Christian) AL


Nick Collison

Iowa Falls (H.S.) IA


Todd Billet

Lincroft (Christian Brothers) NJ


Joe Johnson

Little Rock (Central) AR


Brian Cook

Lincoln (H.S.) IL


Andrew Gooden

El Cerrito (H.S.) CA


Chuck Edison

Summerville (Pinewood) SC

South Carolina

Jonathan Bender

Picayune (H.S.) MS


Marcus Cox

Bridgeport (Kolbe Cathedral) CT


Omar Weaver

Washington (Coolidge) DC

Donnell Knight

Tempe (Corona Del Sol) AZ

Arizona State

George Williams

Sugar Land (Elkins) TX


Matt Carroll

Horsham (Hatboro-Horsham) PA

Notre Dame

Marshall Williams

Milwaukee (Vincent) WI

N.C. State

Roger Mason

Wheaton (Good Counsel) MD


Michael Dunleavy

Portland (Jesuit) OR


Damien Wilkins

Orlando (Dr. Phillips) FL

N.C. State

DeShaun Williams

Pateron (Catholic) NJ


Brent Darby

River Rouge (H.S.) MI

Ohio State

Hollis Price

New Orleans (St. Augustine) LA


George Lynch

Charlotte (Olympic) NC


Aloyius Anagonye

Detroit (St. Martin DePorres) MI

Michigan State

John Grove

Grove City (George Jr. Republic) PA


Tito Maddox

Compton (H.S.) CA

Fresno State

Clifford Crawford

Winston-Salem (Parkland) NC

N.C. State

Kirk Hinrich

Sioux City (West) IA


Derick Payne

Washington (Coolidge) DC

Southern Univ.

Steve Hunter

Maywood (Proviso East) IL


Ryan Wildenborg

Kirkland (Juanita) WA


Carlton Baker

East Chicago (Central) IN

Barton County JC


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