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Chino Hills is first school to have three former teammates among NBA draft lottery picks

LaMelo Ball and Onyeka Okongwu
Former Chino Hills High teammates LaMelo Ball, left, and Onyeka Okongwu were both selected in the first round of the NBA draft Wednesday.
(Getty Images; Shotgun Spratling / For The Times)

Many powerhouse high school and private academy boys’ basketball programs have seen several graduates selected in the first round of an NBA draft.

When LaMelo Ball and Onyeka Okongwu were chosen third and sixth, respectively, on Wednesday night in the pandemic-delayed 2020 NBA draft, Chino Hills High became the first to have three former teammates taken among lottery picks.

For the record:

4:36 PM, Nov. 19, 2020A previous version of this article said that only three high schools besides Chino Hills had produced three first-round NBA draft picks off one team. That version omitted the trios from Fresno San Joaquin Memorial and Baltimore Dunbar.

Ball, who was chosen by Charlotte, and Okongwu, who was taken by Atlanta, won a state championship together in 2016 as freshmen with the Huskies, who were led by Lonzo Ball, the second overall selection in the 2017 draft.

At least five other high schools have had three teammates off the same team taken with first-round picks in the draft. Two were public schools, and two of the three private schools are not known for prioritizing education over basketball.

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Here are the other five sets of high school teammates selected in the first round of a draft:

— Dunbar (Baltimore) 1982-83: Reggie Williams (Clippers, 1987, No. 4); Muggsy Bogues (Washington Bullets, 1987, No. 12); Reggie Lewis (Celtics, 1987, No. 22).

— Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 1995-96: Lamar Odom (Clippers, 1999, No. 4); Speedy Claxton (76ers, 2000, No. 20); Erick Barkley (Trail Blazers, 2000, No. 28)

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— Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 2005-06: Michael Beasley (Heat, 2008, No. 2); Ty Lawson (Timberwolves, 2009, No. 18); Nolan Smith (Trail Blazers, 2011, No. 21)

— San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) 2005-2006: Brook Lopez (Nets, 2008, No. 10); Robin Lopez (Suns, 2008, No. 15); Quincy Pondexter (Thunder, 2010, No. 26)

— Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 2008-09: Avery Bradley (Celtics, 2010, No. 19); Cory Joseph (Spurs, 2011, No. 29); Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers, 2011, No. 4)

Note: Thompson transferred to Findlay Prep from St. Benedict (Newark, N.J.) late in the season after a run-in with his coach and played in five games.


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