Top Talent-Producing High Schools for Every State
Most people view high school athletic programs in the same way they see collegiate programs, albeit to a lesser extent.
For example, when you think of Duke athletics, you naturally think of their basketball team and not their football team. Likewise, when you think of USC, you think of football and not basketball. Many people see their local high schools in the same way, as most schools specialize in a few sports and may have had countless athletes within those sports go on to have successful athletic careers.
However, there are high schools in every state that break that mold and have produced notable athletes across multiple sports. These could be athletes in team sports like football or baseball, individual sports like golf or wrestling, or just athletes who excelled either internationally or collegiately. We’ve gone through all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and picked out the schools that are essentially jacks-of-all-trades when it comes to athletic alumni. Here are the best talent-producing high schools for every state.
Alabama – A.H. Parker High School
Year opened: 1900
Notable athletes (baseball): Lee May, Carlos May, Bill Bruton
Notable athletes (football): Buck Buchanan, Olanda Truitt, Chris Woods
Notable athletes (basketball): Eric Bledsoe, Allen Murphy, Walter Sharpe
Once the high school with the largest African-American enrollment in the world, Parker has produced not only a high quantity of athletes but also a high quality. Buck Buchanan (pictured) is in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, as he was an unblockable 6-foot-7 presence on the Kansas City Chiefs defensive line.
Over on the diamond, the May brothers — Lee and Carlos — were both MLB All-Stars in the late 1960s and early '70s. A fun fact about Carlos May is that he was born on May 17, and he wore No. 17. Thus, he is thought of as the only player in MLB history to have his birthday, May 17, on the back of his jersey.
Alaska – Service High School
Year opened: 1971
Notable athletes (football): Mark Schlereth, Jeff Overbaugh
Notable athletes (other): Brandon Dubinsky (hockey), Tyler Kornfield (skiing), Jeremy Teela (biathlete)
There have been over 26,000 players in NFL history, but only 12 of them have passed through an Alaskan high school. The fact that multiple Alaskans came from a single high school is impressive, and the pair is highlighted by Mark Schlereth (pictured). The three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time Pro Bowler is a Northwesterner down to the core, exemplified by the fact that the only two scholarship offers he had coming out of Service High School were from Idaho and Hawaii — and he chose Idaho!
Apart from Schlereth, Service boasts a couple of Winter Olympians in Tyler Kornfield and Jeremy Teela. A biathlete, Teela competed in both cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, and he took part in the Olympic Games in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
Arizona – Hamilton High School
Year opened: 1998
Notable athletes (football): Terrell Suggs, Dontay Moch, Tyler Shough
Notable athletes (baseball): Cody Bellinger, Patrick Murphy, Eric Farris
Notable athletes (other): Camden Pulkinen (figure skating), Tony Cascio (soccer), Chan Kim (golf)
Size certainly matters when it comes to high schools making this list, and Hamilton High School’s roughly 4,000 student enrollment makes it the largest in Arizona. More students mean more opportunities for All-World athletes to pass through the school’s halls such as Terrell Suggs and Cody Bellinger (pictured).
The two showed off differing potential in high school, as Suggs was a high school All-American, while Bellinger was overlooked and hit just one home run as a season. But they had similar success as professionals. Suggs was an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, while Bellinger was named National League MVP.
Arkansas – Pine Bluff High School
Year opened: 1868
Notable athletes (football): Don Hutson, Willie Roaf, Jim Benton, Monte Coleman, Jackie Harris
Notable athletes (other): Torii Hunter (baseball), Mike Jeffcoat (baseball), Bill Carr (athletics)
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more accomplished group of football alums than what Pine Bluff High School has. Hutson and Roaf are both Hall of Famers who combined for 12 All-Pro First-Team selections. Jim Benton was an All-Decade selection (1940s), while Monte Coleman won three Super Bowls with Washington under Joe Gibbs. There are also a dozen other alums from the school who made it to the NFL.
But the success goes beyond the gridiron, led by former MLB outfielder Torii Hunter (pictured). He’s a nine-time Gold Glove winner who also clubbed over 350 home runs during his 19-year career.
California – Long Beach Poly High School
Location: Long Beach
Year opened: 1895
Notable athletes (baseball): Tony Gwynn, Chase Utley, Vern Stephens, Milton Bradley, Randy Moffitt
Notable athletes (football): DeSean Jackson, Willie McGinest, Tony Hill, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Gene Washington
Notable athletes (other): Billie Jean King (tennis), Mack Calvin (basketball), Andre Anderson (athletics), Gary Gabelich (motorsports), John Rambo (athletics)
There are dozens of California schools that have impressive athletic alums, stretching from Torrey Pines High in SoCal to Palo Alto High in NorCal. But what sets Long Beach Poly apart is its breadth with so many high-class athletes from so many sports. The school has sent over 80 players to the NFL, MLB and NBA combined as well as dozens of others to the Olympics in other sports like track and field or water polo. But the crown jewel alum is Billie Jean King (pictured), who turned professional in tennis while she was still a student at Long Beach Poly. She won her first pro title as a high school senior and then won a doubles title at Wimbledon in 1961, just weeks after she graduated high school.
The list of non-athlete alums of Long Beach Poly is nearly as impressive as the sports figures and includes the likes of Snoop Dogg, Cameron Diaz and Spike Jones.
Colorado – Cherry Creek High School
Location: Greenwood Village
Year opened: 1955
Notable athletes (baseball): Brad Lidge, Josh Bard, David Aardsma, Jim Rooker
Notable athletes (football): Kyle Shanahan, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Ashworth
Notable athletes (other): Amy Van Dyken (pictured), Bobby Brown (skier), Eve Torres (wrestling)
Located in the Greater Denver Area, Cherry Creek High School certainly didn’t penny pinch when it came to athletic facilities for its students. The campus has eight tennis courts, two practice football fields, an indoor turf area and a challenge/obstacle course. It also has a swimming pool, which Amy Van Dyken became quite acquainted with as she was named Colorado Swimmer of the Year while at CCHS.
After then becoming the NCAA Swimmer of the Year at nearby Colorado State, Van Dyken achieved worldwide fame at the 1996 Summer Olympics. She became the first female American athlete to win four gold medals at a single Games and added another two golds at the 2000 Games.
Connecticut – Hartford Public High School
Year opened: 1638
Notable athletes (basketball): Marcus Camby (pictured), Michael Adams, Bob Nash
Notable athletes (other): Marlon Starling (boxing), Lindy Remigino (athletics), Monk Dubiel (baseball)
Lindy Remigino is one of a handful of people on the planet who held the title of “World’s Fastest Man.” That’s because he won a gold medal in the 100m dash at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Shortly after winning gold, Remigino then returned to Hartford Public High School, where he would coach the school’s track team for 43 years.
Thus, other alums like Marcus Camby (NBA Defensive Player of the Year winner) and Marlon Starling (WBA/WBC/IBF welterweight boxing champion, pictured) were students at Hartford Public while Remigino was running the track team.
Delaware – Salesianum School
Year opened: 1903
Notable athletes (football): Tom Hall, Troy Reeder, Brian O’Neill, Eddie Michaels
Notable athletes (other): Donte DiVincenzo (basketball), Simon Diamond (wrestling), Vic Zwolak (track)
It was at Salesianum that DiVincenzo (pictured) won two state basketball titles and earned the nickname of “Delaware’s Jordan,” claiming he’s the supposed Michael Jordan of Delaware. That hasn’t quite been the case, but DiVincenzo has won everywhere he’s gone, as he then won two NCAA championhips at Villanova before winning an NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Salesianum is also where Simon Diamond got his athletic career started, but it was on the baseball diamond. He then played baseball at VCU but hurt his shoulder, which ended his baseball career. A few years later, he would transition to wrestling and has appeared in promotions such as ECW, Impact Wrestling and NWA.
Florida – The Bolles School
Year opened: 1933
Notable athletes (football): Mac Jones, Hayden Hurst, Dez White, David Treadwell
Notable athletes (baseball): Chipper Jones, Rick Wilkins, Austin Slater
Notable athletes (swimming): Ryan Murphy, Anthony Nesty, Trina Jackson, Fred Tyler
While having a Hall of Fame baseball player like Chipper Jones and having a CFP title-winning QB like Mac Jones (pictured) is impressive, the swimming alums are the real stars of the Bolles School. Nearly a dozen of them have won Olympic medals, representing countries like Singapore, Canada, Suriname and the United States. It helps that the team’s former swim coach, Gregg Troy, also coached the U.S. Olympic Swim Team at three different Games. Bolles has won 17 national championships across all sports, and all 17 come from the boys’ and girls’ swimming teams.
Georgia – Parkview High School
Year opened: 1976
Notable athletes (football): Chris Carson, Jon Stinchcomb, Brett Conway, Mark Thomas
Notable athletes (baseball): Jeff Francoeur, Matt Olson, Jeff Keppinger
Notable athletes (other): Josh Wolff (soccer), Jason Moore (soccer), Eric Shanteau (swimmer)
There are lots of Georgia schools that have produced pro athletes, but few can match the star athletes that have come out of Parkview. There’s NFL player Chris Carson (pictured), who fantasy players are well aware of, as he has a few 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. Then, on the diamond, there are a couple of Gold Glove winners in Jeff Francoeur and Matt Olson.
Over on the soccer pitch, there is Josh Wolff, who played in two World Cups and scored in two Gold Cups. Finally, over in the pool is Eric Shanteau, who not only won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics but was also part of a 4x100m medley relay team that held the world record for a dozen years.
Hawaii – Punahou School
Year opened: 1841
Notable athletes (football): DeForest Buckner, Manti Te’o (pictured), Mark Tuinei, Mosi Tatupu, Ka’imi Fairbairn
Notable athletes (swimming) Warren Kealoha, Dick Cleveland, Buster Crabbe, Mariechen Wehselau Jackson
Notable athletes (other): Michelle Wie (golf), Carissa Moore (surfing), Elisa Au (karate), Lindsey Berg (volleyball), Christopher Duplanty (water polo)
Sports Illustrated has crowned Punahou School as having the best high school athletic program in the country and for good reason. The school has produced Olympians in nine different sports, ranging from equestrian to swimming to kayaking to volleyball. It has also sent 15 players to the NFL, including multiple Pro Bowlers.
It has also produced numerous world champions in surfing, which is Hawaii’s official state sport. The one sport it hasn’t had any professional in is basketball, although Barack Obama played on Punahou’s varsity team before graduating in 1979.
Idaho – Boise High School
Year opened: 1881
Notable athletes (football): Wayne Walker, Rick Woods, Ron Hadley
Notable athletes (baseball): Larry Jackson, James Hoyt (pictured), Jerrod Wong
Just 25 total alums from Idaho high schools have made it to the NBA and MLB combined, so the pickings are slim. But Boise High has an impressive quality of alums, particularly with Wayne Walker and Larry Jackson. Walker was the rare linebacker/kicker who played in 200 games with the Detroit Lions, the most in franchise history for a defensive player. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and actually had a pro baseball offer out of Boise High but elected to only focus on football.
Jackson was a star on the diamond, as he made five MLB All-Star teams as a pitcher for the Cardinals and Cubs. After retiring, he returned to Boise, where he worked as an insurance agent, served four terms in the Idaho House of Representatives and served on several state boards.
Illinois – Mount Carmel High School
Year opened: 1900
Notable athletes (football): Donovan McNabb, Simeon Rice, Jordan Lynch, Elmer Angsman
Notable athletes (basketball): Antoine Walker, Lloyd Walton, Archie Dees
Notable athletes (other): Chris Chelios (hockey), Denny McLain (baseball), Joe Williams (wrestling)
Five of Mount Carmel’s alums weren’t just guys who reached the pros, but they all made substantial impacts in their respective sports. That starts with NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios who won three Stanley Cup championships and was named the league’s top defenseman three times.
Other Mount Carmel stars include Donovan McNabb (pictured) and Simeon Rice, both of the NFL, as they combined for nine Pro Bowls during their careers. Antoine Walker was a star on the hardwood, as he won an NCAA championship and an NBA championship, and made three All-Star teams. And Denny McLain was one of the best pitchers of the 1960s, winning two Cy Young awards, and he was the last pitcher to win 30 games in a season (1968).
Indiana – Cathedral High School
Year opened: 1918
Notable athletes (football): Terry McLaurin (pictured), Mark Clayton, Blaine Bishop, Mathias Kiwanuka, Jack Doyle
Notable athletes (baseball): Tommy Hunter, Ray Oyler, Dillon Peters
Notable athletes (other): Chris Huffins (decathlete), Samantha Peszek (gymnast), Cole Hocker (athletics)
Lots of productive pass catchers have passed through Cathedral High, including current Washington receiver Terry McLaurin. But McLaurin has a ways to go to pass Mark Clayton as the school’s top alum, as Clayton was one-half of the Marks Brothers catching passes from Dan Marino, and he was a three-time All-Pro.
Both McLaurin and Clayton made their NFL fame outside of Indianapolis, while Jack Doyle applied his trade with the Colts. The tight end could conceivably still live with his parents while playing for the Indianapolis Colts, as Lucas Oil Stadium is just 10 minutes away from Cathedral High School.
Iowa – Central High School
Year opened: 1904
Notable athletes (football): Roger Craig (pictured),, James Jones, Jamie Williams, Austin Howard
Notable athletes (other): Jack Fleck (golf), Gene Baker (baseball), Michael Nunn (boxing)
Roger Craig was one of the best all-purpose running backs of the 1980s, and he was also seemingly tied to the hip of Jamie Williams his entire life. Williams, a linebacker, played with Craig at Central High, then at Nebraska and then with the San Francisco 49ers.
Also with ties to Craig, legally, is boxer Michael Nunn, who won two world titles during the 1980s and '90s. A champion of a different kind was Jack Fleck, who played golf on Central’s High School team and then turned pro just after graduating in 1939. Sixteen years later, Fleck would achieve the highlight of his career, defeating Ben Hogan in a playoff to win the 1955 U.S. Open, his only major championship.
Kansas – Wichita North High School
Year opened: 1929
Notable athletes (football): Barry Sanders, Curtis McClinton, Elbert Mack, Don Calhoun
Notable athletes (other): Lynette Woodard (basketball), Nico Hernandez (boxing), Bob Thurman (baseball)
The legend of Barry Sanders (pictured) started at Wichita North, even though he didn’t become a starter until the fourth game of his senior year. Sanders rushed for over 1,400 yards over the last seven games of his high school career, averaging over 200 yards a game and over 10 yards per carry. He would then go on to win a Heisman, be a four-time NFL rushing champion, an NFL MVP and a Hall of Famer.
But some 30 years before Sanders etched his mark in football history, Curtis McClinton was also an All-World running back from Wichita North. He was a three-time Pro Bowler during the 1960s as a fullback and won three AFL titles and one Super Bowl.
Kentucky – St. Xavier High School
Year opened: 1864
Notable athletes (football): Desmond Ridder, Will Wolford, Bob Talamini
Notable athletes (baseball): Paul Byrd, Chris Burke, Matt Anderson
Notable athletes (other): Justin Thomas (golf), Frank Beard (golf), Scott Padgett (basketball)
As a 16-year-old junior at St. Xavier, Justin Thomas (pictured) competed in a PGA Tour event — the Wyndham Championship. He finished tied for 78th but also became the third-youngest person in history to make the cut at a PGA Tour event. Thomas wouldn’t play another PGA Tour event for another three years, but since then, he’s gone on to win the PGA Championship and is a two-time PGA Player of the Year winner.
Thomas now has to share the spotlight of being a St. Xavier alum along with Desmond Ridder. The former Cincinnati Bearcats QB helped Cincy reach the College Football Playoff in 2021, becoming the first Group of Five team to make the playoffs. Ridder was also the only non-Power 5 player to receive votes for the Heisman Trophy that season.
Louisiana – Jesuit High School
Location: New Orleans
Year opened: 1847
Notable athletes (baseball): Will Clark, Rusty Staub, Connie Ryan
Notable athletes (football): Deion Jones, Foster Moreau, Richie Petitbon, Steve Foley
Thirteen Jesuit graduates went on to play in the Majors, and three of them became All-Stars. Two of those — Rusty Staub and Will Clark (pictured) — were among the best of their eras and played a combined 38 MLB seasons. Staub had over 2,700 career hits and is one of four MLB players to hit a home run as a teenager in his 20s, in his 30s and in his 40s.
He retired after the 1985 season, and Clark picked up the Jesuit mantle by making his debut in the 1986 season. Will the Thrill was a lifetime .303 hitter who made six All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves.
Maine – Bridgton Academy
Location: Bridgton Academy
Year opened: 1808
Notable athletes (football): Victor Cruz (pictured), Jermaine Wiggins, Courtney Greene
Notable athletes (other): Amir Garrett (baseball), Steven Brooks (lacrosse), Harry Lord (baseball)
A boarding school in southern Maine, Bridgton offers a two-year program in which high school seniors attend and then stick around for a post-graduate semester.
Victor Cruz originally attended a high school near his home in New Jersey before transferring to Bridgton, and that’s where he caught the attention of UMass. In his lone season on Bridgton’s team, he had 47 grabs for 869 yards and eight touchdowns. He would then go onto a record-setting career with the UMass Minutemen before becoming the salsa-dancing star receiver for the New York Giants.
Maryland – DeMatha Catholic High School
Year opened: 1946
Notable athletes (football): Brian Westbrook, Chase Young, Cameron Wake, Mike Johnson, Rodney McLeod
Notable athletes (basketball): Adrian Dantley, Markelle Fultz (pictured), Victor Oladipo, Danny Ferry, Jerami Grant
Notable athletes (other): Brent Cecil (baseball), Paul Rabil (lacrosse), Derek Mills (athletics), Bill Hamid (soccer), Moose (wrestling)
Located in a Washington, D.C. suburb, DeMatha is annually cited as one of the top high school programs in the country — and for good reason. It has produced All-Star players in the NBA, MLB and the NFL, including basketball Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley. A combined 50 players from the school have made it to the NBA and NFL alone with many more on the way.
Massachusetts – Cushing Academy
Year opened: 1865
Notable athletes (hockey): Keith Yandle, Conor Sheary, Tom Poti, Meghan Duggan
Notable athletes (football): Ray McLean, Kenny Gamble, Ollie Satenstein
Notable athletes (other): John Cena (wrestling), Fernando Aristeguieta (soccer), Sean DePaula (baseball), Phil Pressey (basketball)
Many hockey players choose to go the junior hockey route, but there are some that play in high schools in the Northeast and Midwest. Cushing is one of the most prominent factories for producing pro hockey players, as it has sent over a dozen players to the NHL, in addition to women’s hockey players like Meghan Duggan and Erika Lawler, who won Olympic medals.
But the most famous Cushing alum doesn’t wear a pair of skates but rather a pair of jean shorts when he performs. Wrestler/actor John Cena (pictured) played football at Cushing before graduating in 1995 and embarking on an entertainment career.
Michigan – Detroit Country Day School
Location: Beverly Hills
Year opened: 1914
Notable athletes (basketball): Chris Webber, Shane Battier, JaVale McGee
Notable athletes (football): Jonas Gray, Bennie Fowler, Kenny Demens
Notable athletes (other): Patrick Kane (hockey), Kate Markgraf (soccer), Michael Russell (tennis)
Located in Michigan’s city of Beverly Hills, Detroit Country Day is, as its name suggests, in the Detroit metro. It produced some of the most famous college basketball players of all time in Chris Webber and Shane Battier (pictured), and those two also had impressive NBA careers.
But the school’s alums go outside the hardwood and include one-game NFL wonder, Jonas Gray, who rushed for 201 yards and four TDs in one miraculous game for the Patriots in 2014. On the ice, NHL MVP Patrick Kane attended the school but didn’t graduate from there.
The school also has an accomplished number of non-athlete attendees including Robin Williams, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and actor Courtney B. Vance.
Minnesota – Cretin-Derham High School
Location: Saint Paul
Year opened: 1871
Notable athletes (baseball) Paul Molitor, Joe Mauer, Jack Hannahan
Notable athletes (football): Matt Birk, Chris Weinke, Michael Floyd, Ryan Harris, Walt Kiesling
Notable athletes (other): Ryan McDonagh (hockey), Daniel Oturu (basketball) Mark Wegner (MLB umpire)
Cretin-Derham High School (CDHS) has an eclectic group of alums that includes a Hall of Famer (Paul Molitor, pictured), a future Hall of Famer (Joe Mauer), a Heisman winner (Chris Weinke) and a Walter Payton Man of the Year in Matt Birk. Mauer had the most impressive career at CDHS and what’s considered one of the greatest high school athletic careers in recent history.
The future MLB catcher was a three-sport athlete, and he excelled at all three. He struck out just once during his four-year career at the plate and hit .605 his senior season. On the gridiron, Mauer was the quarterback and led Cretin-Derham to two state title games, winning one. Mauer also played basketball where he averaged 20 points a game and was two-time All-State. After his senior season, Mauer became the first athlete to be selected USA Today High School Player of the Year in two sports — baseball and football.
Mississippi – Moss Point High School
Location: Moss Point
Year opened: 1942
Notable athletes (basketball): Devin Booker, Melvin Booker, Litterial Green
Notable athletes (other): Claude Passeau (baseball) Tony Sipp (baseball), Kenny Johnson (football), Verlon Biggs (football), Tom Johnson (football)
Devin Booker is one of the best scorers in the NBA, and he’s also one of the best second-generation players in league history. Booker’s father, Melvin, played two NBA seasons in the mid-90s and both graduated from Moss Point.
Other noteworthy alums include MLB player Tony Sipp, who was the prototypical LOOGY (left-handed one-out guy). For 11 seasons, his main job was to come out of the bullpen to get a left-handed batter out and then head to the showers. Fellow baseball player Claude Passeau had a much more expansive role as a starting pitcher during the 1930s and '40s. He was a five-time All-Star due to his work on the mound, and he more than held his own at the plate with 15 career homers.
Missouri – Chaminade College Preparatory School
Location: St. Louis
Year opened: 1910
Notable athletes (basketball): Jayson Tatum (pictured), Bradley Beal, David Lee
Notable athletes (hockey): Ben Bishop, Paul Stastny, Yan Stastny, Brady Tkachuk, Matthew Tkachuk
Notable athletes (soccer): Brad Davis, Tom Barlow, Joe Willis
Chaminade is a bit of an outlier in terms of schools on this list, as it’s never sent a single player to the NFL. But it more than made up for that in other sports, such as basketball. With Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and David Lee all alums, the school has amazingly produced three All-NBA players.
It also has produced four NHL All-Stars, including the Tkachuk brothers in Matthew and Brady. It also had another pair of NHL brothers in Paul and Yan Stastny who each attended Chaminade just for their first two years of school before transferring. They transferred because Chaminade wouldn’t let them miss classes in order to play junior hockey, which offers a better path to the NHL.
Montana – Charles M. Russell High School
Location: Great Falls
Year opened: 1965
Notable athletes (football): Ryan Leaf, Barry Darrow, Jim Kalafat
Notable athletes (other): Patrick Dwyer (hockey), Todd Foster (boxer), Josh Huestis (basketball), John Leister (baseball)
The word “notable” doesn’t necessarily mean an athlete is held in high regard; such is the case with Ryan Leaf (pictured). The quarterback led CMR to a 1992 Montana state title before having individual success at Washington State. However, everything fell apart when he was taken No. 2 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft and one spot after Peyton Manning. Leaf is considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history, and he had as many arrests (four) as NFL wins.
A CMR graduate who experienced a little more success, professionally, is boxer Todd Foster. He represented the U.S. at the 1988 Summer Olympics, won his first 22 pro fights and challenged Boxing Hall of Famer Hector “Macho” Camacho to the welterweight title, coming up just short.
Nebraska – Creighton Preparatory School
Year opened: 1878
Notable athletes (football): Easton Stick, Gene Williams, Zach Potter, Junior Bryant
Notable athletes (baseball): Rex Barney, Kyle Peterson, Loren Babe
Notable athletes (other): Ted DiBiase (wrestling), Gary Wiren (golf), Wally Anderzunas (basketball)
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase (pictured) is one of the greatest gimmicks in pro wrestling history, but DiBiase was known for his achievements in another sport in high school. He played football at Creighton Prep and was good enough to earn a scholarship to West Texas State University.
But after a few years, he quit football and dropped out of school to embark on his wrestling career. Wrestling was the family business, as his adopted father, “Iron” Mike DiBiase, was a star in the 1950s and '60s. Ted took that stardom to another level in the WWF, where he was a seven-time champion, a King of the Ring winner and a Hall of Famer.
Nevada – Bishop Gorman High School
Location: Las Vegas
Year opened: 1954
Notable athletes (football): DeMarco Murray, Ronnie Stanley, Grey Ruegamer, David Humm
Notable athletes (basketball): Bison Dele, Shabazz Muhammad, Zach Collins, C.J. Watson,
Notable athletes (other): Joey Gallo (baseball, pictured), Frank Fertitta III (UFC owner), Lorenzo Fertitta (UFC owner), Tristan Blackmon (soccer)
Bishop Gorman opened in 1954, but it didn’t become a factory for pro athletes until the 2000s. The school has sent 24 combined athletes to the NFL, NBA or MLB, and 19 of those made their pro debuts in this millennium. One of those is 2014 NFL rushing champ, DeMarco Murray, who had over 2,500 total yards and 34 touchdowns in his senior season at Gorman.
With the school just 5 miles from UFC’s headquarters in Vegas, there are also many ties between UFC and Gorman. Brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta are former owners of the promotion, and they befriended Dana White while at Gorman. White also attended Bishop Gorman but was expelled from the school … twice.
New Hampshire – Nashua High School
Year opened: 1975
Notable athletes (football): Greg Landry, John Kissell, Doc Haggerty, Paul LaPolice
Notable athletes (other): Triple H (wrestler), Birdie Tebbetts (baseball), Mike Welch (baseball)
Before Triple H (pictured) became one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time, he was known as Paul Levesque at Nashua High. He played basketball and baseball at the school, but his true passion was bodybuilding as a teenager. He aspired to look like the wrestlers he saw on TV, and he entered bodybuilding competitions while still at Nashua.
His love for bodybuilding led him to become a gym manager, where he was introduced to a WWE employee. That connection eventually led to Triple H meeting with, and training under, Hall of Famer Killer Kowalski, and such was the start of his pro wrestling career.
New Jersey – St. Benedict’s Preparatory School
Year opened: 1868
Notable athletes (basketball): J.R. Smith, Precious Achiuwa, Lance Thomas, Tyler Ennis
Notable athletes (soccer): Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos, Gregg Berhalter, Juan Agudelo
Notable athletes (other): Cullen Jones (swimming), Ben Scotti (football), Dick Weisgerber (football), Ownie Carroll (baseball), Edward Cheserek (running)
J.R. Smith (pictured) played two sports at St. Benedict’s, and neither one is his current sport of golf. Of course, Smith played hoops, but he also played football up until his senior year when he decided to focuse on basketball.
One sport that Smith didn’t compete in is soccer, but St. Benedict’s has no shortage of world-class and World Cup alums. Three different players — Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos and Gregg Berhalter — each spent a dozen years with the USMNT. Reyna and Ramos have since been inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, while Berhalter is the current coach of the United States Men’s National Team.
New Mexico – La Cueva High School
Year opened: 1986
Notable athletes (baseball): Mitch Garver, Jordan Pacheco, James Parr
Notable athletes (other): Jarrin Solomon (track), Tammy Pearman (soccer), Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (marathoner)
MLB player Mitch Garver (pictured) had options in high school, but only one was appealing to him. He hit .521 his senior season, but baseball, apparently, wasn’t his best sport as he was also a star on the pitch.
He won a state championship in soccer, and his coach suggested Garver relocate to Europe to continue his soccer career. That reportedly “terrified” Garver who ended up sticking with baseball and staying in the U.S. The decision ended up paying off, as he became a Silver Slugger-winning catcher with the Minnesota Twins.
New York – Erasmus Hall High School
Year opened: 1786
Notable athletes (football): Sid Luckman, Curtis Samuel, Shawn Lee, Joe Watt, Al Davis (executive)
Notable athletes (basketball): Billy Cunningham, George Thompson, Jerry Fleishman, Jerry Reinsdorf (executive)
Notable athletes (other): Jerry Re Waite Hoyt (baseball), Eleanor Holm (swimming), Bob Olin (boxing), Cheryl Toussaint (athletics)
Pick almost any historic high school in one of New York’s boroughs, and you’ll find a lengthy list of notable alums. But what makes Erasmus Hall stand out is the number of great athletes and great sports executives it has produced.
Sid Luckman and Billy Cunningham (pictured) are, respectively, in the football and basketball Halls of Fames due to their playing days, while Al Davis and Jerry Reinsdorf are also in those respective Halls due to their executive work. The school also produced a light heavyweight champion of the world in Bob Olin.
In 1994, the original Erasmus Hall closed down due to poor academics, but five smaller schools now make up the new Erasmus Hall, with each focusing on a different academic area.
North Carolina – Charlotte Christian School
Year opened: 1950
Notable athletes (basketball): Steph Curry, Seth Curry, Todd Fuller, Anthony Gill
Notable athletes (football): Garrett Bradbury, Matthias Farley, Jeremy Thompson
Notable athletes (other): Daniel Bard (baseball), Jackson Kowar (baseball), Clint Irwin (soccer)
It’s hard to believe that the greatest shooter in NBA history who is a two-time MVP and a three-time champion couldn’t get a single major scholarship offer coming out of high school. We’re talking about Steph Curry, who was a three-time All-State selection at Charlotte Christian School but received a scholarship offer only from mid-major Davidson College.
His senior season in high school coincided with his younger brother, Seth's, sophomore season, and Charlotte Christian made the state final that year. And when it came time for Seth to pick a college, he also didn’t have many offers and had to settle for going to Liberty College before transferring to Duke.
North Dakota – Shanley High School
Year opened: 1882
Notable athletes (baseball): Roger Maris, Rick Helling
Notable athletes (football): Dan Arnold, Connor McGovern
There have been just 40 people from North Dakota high schools to make it to the NFL, NBA or MLB combined. So, Shanley getting 10 percent of those is pretty amazing, and one of those alums being Roger Maris (pictured) certainly deserves recognition. The future home-run king was a two-time MVP, three-time World Series champion and seven-time All-Star in MLB. But he was most known for his football accomplishments in high school.
While at Shanley, Maris set a record in 1951, which still stands today as a national high school record. He scored four return touchdowns in a single game — two on kick returns, one on a punt return and one on an interception return. He also added another rushing TD in that game, and over 70 years later, his four return TDs still stands as a record.
Ohio – St. Edward High School
Year opened: 1949
Notable athletes (wrestling): Dolph Ziggler, Johnny Gargano, Gray Maynard, Dean Heil
Notable athletes (football): Alex Boone, Haruki Nakamura, Rodney Bailey, Tom Cousineau, Ryan Bertin
Notable athletes (other): Jawad Williams (basketball), Darlington Nagbe (soccer), Michael Rupp (hockey), Chris Honeycutt (MMA)
Located in Greater Cleveland, St. Edward has won more team state championships than any other Ohio high school. Nearly 40 of those state titles are via the wrestling team and alums such as Dolph Ziggler and Johnny Gargano.
Ziggler, whose real name is Nick Nemeth, holds the school record for most career pins and would go on to win over a dozen championships in WWE. Gargano would follow Ziggler to WWE where he became the company’s first NXT Triple Crown Champion. They are just a few of the standout wrestlers from the school, as St. Edward has produced over half a dozen amateur wrestlers who either were NCAA champions or NCAA All-Americans.
Oklahoma – Booker T. Washington High School
Year opened: 1913
Notable athletes (football): Tyler Lockett, Felix Jones, Robert Meachem, R.W. McQuarters
Notable athletes (basketball): Wayman Tisdale, Etan Thomas, Richard Dumas
Notable athletes (other): Kenny Monday (wrestling), Roy Foster (baseball), Michael Nsien (soccer)
Tyler Lockett (pictured) is a legacy graduate of Washington High, as both his father, Kevin, and uncle, Aaron, also attended the school. All three Locketts made it to the NFL, but Tyler has had the biggest impact as three-time All-Pro selection.
At Washington High, the youngest Lockett was a three-sport star and won a state championship in football despite playing with a broken wrist. He also won a state title in basketball as a senior — while playing with that broken wrist — and competed in track as well.
The only other Washington alum who can compete with that resume is wrestler Kenny Monday, who won state titles in all four of his years at the school.
Oregon – Thomas Jefferson High School
Year opened: 1908
Notable athletes (baseball): Joe Gordon, Pete Ward, Don Johnson
Notable athletes (football): Mel Renfro, Arnie Weinmeister, Terry Baker, James Allen
Notable athletes (basketball): Terrence Ross, Ime Udoka, Terrence Jones
Jefferson High boasts something that not many others can proclaim, and that’s having three Hall of Fame alums. Joe Gordon has the second-most home runs in MLB history by a second baseman and won five World Series championships.
Over in football, Mel Renfro (pictured) was one of the cornerstones of the first Dallas Cowboys dynasty and retired with more Pro Bowl selections (10) than any other defensive back in NFL history. Jefferson also produced a Heisman Trophy winer in Terry Baker, who played quarterback for Oregon State.
Pennsylvania – Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia
Year opened: 1890
Notable athletes (football): Marvin Harrison (pictured), Will Fuller V, Jim Katcavage, Nick Moody
Notable athletes (basketball): Rasual Butler, Mike Bantom, Eddie Griffin, Brad Wanamaker
Notable athletes (rowing): Glenn Ochal, Frank Schell, Charles McIlvaine
Lots of Philly-area high schools have noteworthy alums in multiple sports, but what sets Roman Catholic apart is its legendary rowing program. They’ve produced Olympic medalists for over 100 years, dating back to Frank Schell winning gold at the 1904 Olympics to Glenn Ochal claiming bronze at the 2012 Games.
In terms of the major sports, Marvin Harrison is undoubtedly the biggest name, as he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Even with the pass replacing the run in the NFL over the last decade, Harrison still owns the record for most consecutive seasons with at least 10 touchdown receptions at eight seasons.
Rhode Island – Bishop Hendricken High School
Year opened: 1959
Notable athletes (football): Kwity Paye, Will Blackmon, Steve Furness
Notable athletes (baseball): Rocco Baldelli (pictured), Jeff Beliveau, Michael King, Thomas Pannone
Notable athletes (other): Noel Acciari (hockey), David Emma (hockey), Billy Baron (basketball)
Bishop Hendricken has sent four players to MLB and three of the four — Rocco Baldelli, Jeff Beliveau and Thomas Pannone — played for the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2015, Baldelli spent four years as a Rays coach, and he coached both Beliveau and Pannone in different years.
Today, Baldelli is the manager of the Minnesota Twins, but he was All-Everything while in high school. He hit .531 his senior season despite pulling his oblique muscle, while also maintaining a 4.25 GPA. Baldelli was a four-sport athlete and also competed in basketball, track and volleyball during his tenure at Bishop Hendricken.
South Carolina – Northwestern High School
Location: Rock Hill
Year opened: 1971
Notable athletes (football): Cordarelle Patterson, Benjamin Watson, Mason Rudolph, Johnathan Joseph
Notable athletes (soccer): Alex Martinez, Enzo Martinez, Shawn Ferguson
Northwestern High’s football alums have gathered quite the accomplishments since departing the school. Ben Watson played 15 NFL seasons and won a Super Bowl. Johnathan Joseph also spent 15 years in the league and made two All-Pro teams.
Meanwhile, Cordarelle Patterson (pictured) is still going strong as an RB/WR hybrid and has been both a Super Bowl winner and an All-Pro four times over. Mason Rudolph is still looking to add to his list of NFL accomplishments — as of now, he’s best known for being the player that Myles Garrett took a helmet swing at in 2019.
South Dakota – Stevens High School
Location: Rapid City
Year opened: 1969
Notable athletes (basketball): Becky Hammon, Eric Piatkowski
Notable athletes (baseball): Mark Ellis, Dave Collins
Every athlete listed for Stevens High School went on to a lengthy career in his or her respective sport. Ellis played 12 years in MLB, Piatkowski spent 14 years in the NBA, and Collins had a 16-year run in the majors.
Becky Hammon (pictured) has had two lengthy careers. She is one of the greatest players in WNBA history and spent 16 years split between New York and San Antonio. Then, she embarked on a coaching career in which she became the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history. She won an NBA championship on the Spurs’ staff and is now the head coach for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA.
Tennessee – Brentwood Academy
Year opened: 1969
Notable athletes (football): Jalen Ramsey, Dawson Knox, Derek Barnett, King Dunlap
Notable athletes (basketball): Darius Garland, Brandan Wright, David Harrison
Notable athletes (other): Jacob Stallings (baseball), Andrew Bumbalough (track), Wyatt Allen (baseball)
Three of the four listed NFL players — Jalen Ramsey (pictured), Dawson Knox and Derek Barnett — were teammates on the 2012 Brentwood Academy team. Ramsey would become an NFL All-Pro, Barnett was a first-round pick, and Knox is a fantasy football favorite.
But none of them were as big of stars as Darius Garland while at Brentwood Academy. The school is for grades 6-12, and Garland started for the varsity basketball team as an eighth grader. By the time he graduated, he had won four state championships as well as became the second three-time Tennessee Mr. Basketball winner in state history. The first was Brandan Wright who attended Brentwood a dozen years prior.
Texas – Skyline High School
Year opened: 1970
Notable athletes (basketball): Larry Johnson, C.J. Miles, Marcus Garrett
Notable athletes (football): Allen Rossum, Dante Jones, Mike Morgan, Corey Nelson
Notable athletes (other): Michael Johnson (athletics), Omar Gonzalez (soccer), Chris Holt (baseball)
Texas has produced the second-most NFL players of any state, the third-most MLB players and the fifth-most NBA players. Thus, there are about 100 different schools from the Lone Star State that could have made this list.
But Skyline stands out for its athletes outside those major sports, highlighted by four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson (pictured). He formerly held world records in the 200m and 400m, and after he retired, he then gave back to his community by opening a performance center in the Dallas area.
Soccer player Omar Gonzalez also had a standout career that includes an NCAA Championship, three MLS Cups and two Gold Cups. He was named MLS Rookie of the Year, MLS Defender of the Year and made three All-MLS teams.
Utah – Highland High School
Location: Salt Lake City
Year opened: 1956
Notable athletes (football): Haloti Ngata, Stewart Bradley, Nate Orchard, Marv Bateman
Notable athletes (other): Jeff Judkins (basketball), Logan Tom (volleyball), Roberto Linck (soccer), Alexander Magleby (rugby)
Five-time Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata was a two-sport athlete at Highland, competing in football and rugby union. For the former, he had over 200 tackles in his senior year alone, as essentially every run between the tackles ended with the ball carrier in Ngata’s hands.
Ngata was also a national champion in rugby union and was part of the most dominant athletic programs in U.S. high school sports history. Highland’s rugby union team has won 20 national high school national championships, and Ngata played in the championship game all four of his years on the team.
Vermont – Vermont Academy
Location: Saxtons Rivers
Year opened: 1876
Notable athletes (basketball): Bruce Brown Jr. (pictured), Tyrique Jones, Keron DeShields
Notable athletes (other): Denny MacFayden (baseball), Robert Watts (football), Bill Torrey (NHL executive)
There’s only one player in NBA history who graduated from any Vermont high school, and that’s Bruce Brown. He was born in Boston and initially attended a local high school before transferring to Vermont Academy before his junior year. Brown clearly wanted a change of scenery from New England afterward, as he attended the University of Miami before embarking on his NBA career.
Another alum is William Torrey who isn’t known for his playing career but rather his NHL executive career. He was the architect of the New York Islanders dynasty in the early 1980s and won four Stanley Cups as the team’s GM before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Virginia – Robinson Secondary School
Year opened: 1971
Notable athletes (football): Chris Warren, Joel Patten, Chip Vaughn, Dan Adams
Notable athletes (baseball): Javier Lopez, Shawn Camp, Paul Clemens
Notable athletes (other): Byron Saxton (wrestling), Alex Riley (wrestling), Jill Ellis (soccer), Megan McCarthy (soccer), Lucas Kozeniesky (shooting)
Not only did WWE talents Byron Saxton and Alex Riley go to the same high school, but they are the same age and were in the same grade. The fact that they then became WWE co-workers is extraordinary.
Others from the school include MLB pitcher Javier Lopez, who won four World Series championships; NFL running back Chris Warren (pictured), who made three Pro Bowls; and soccer coach Jill Ellis who won two Women’s World Cups. An NCAA football record holder is also an alum of Robinson Secondary School, as Dan Adams holds the record for most solo tackles (20) in a game, doing so for Holy Cross in 2005.
Washington – O’Dea High School
Year opened: 1923
Notable athletes (football): Nate Burleson, Taylor Mays, Myles Gaskin
Notable athletes (basketball): Paolo Banchero, Clint Richardson, Kevin Burleson
Notable athletes (other): Fred Couples (golf), DeAndre Yedlin (soccer), Charles Greene (athletics)
O’Dea doesn’t have a lengthy list of athlete alums, but nearly all of them are accomplished in some form or fashion. Nate Burleson was a good NFL player who has become a great TV personality and appears to be on the Michael Strahan career path. Over in hoops, Paolo Banchero (pictured) lit up college basketball with Duke and was the No. 1 overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 2022 NBA Draft.
On the links, Fred Couples is the owner of a Green Jacket courtesy of the 1992 Masters, which is one of his 15 PGA Tour victories. And on the pitch, DeAndre Yedlin has starred for the USMNT while also playing for some of the top club teams in the English Premier League.
Washington, D.C. – Gonzaga College High School
Year opened: 1821
Notable athletes (football): Caleb Williams, (pictured), Jon Morris, Kevin Hogan, Roman Oben
Notable athletes (basketball): Kris Jenkins, John Thompson III, Tom Sluby
Notable athletes (other): Ian Harkes (soccer), Mike Banner (soccer), Billy Glading (lacrosse)
Not to be confused with Gonzaga Preparatory School in Washington State, this Gonzaga is in the nation’s capital. It’s produced lots of politicians and lots of graduates who are more known for their collegiate accomplishments than professional ones.
Caleb Williams is currently in college and had a stellar freshman season as Oklahoma’s QB where he made All-Big 12. Meanwhile, Kris Jenkins can eat free in any Philadelphia restaurant for the rest of his life after he hit the buzzer-beating game-winner for Villanova in the 2016 NCAA Championship Game. Also on the hardwood is JT III — John Thompson III — who is the son of the legendary “Big John” John Thompson and was the head coach of Georgetown’s basketball team for 13 years.
West Virginia – Martinsburg High School
Year opened: 1883
Notable athletes (basketball): Vicky Bullett, Kevin Pittsnogle, Donte Grantham (pictured)
Notable athletes (baseball): Doug Creek, Scott Bullett, Ray Barker
A pair of basketball players take center stage for Martinsburg High School with Vicky Bullett leading the way. She won two Olympic medals for Team USA, was a WNBA All-Star and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Her younger brother, Scott, also made this list and spent four years in MLB.
The other noteworthy hoops alum from the school is Kevin Pittsnogle. He became a cult hero while at West Virginia University and especially during March Madness. He led WVU to a pair of surprising tournament runs including an Elite Eight in 2005 and a Sweet Sixteen a year later.
Wisconsin – Madison West High School
Year opened: 1930
Notable athletes (speed skating): Beth Heiden, Eric Heiden, Dan Immerfall
Notable athletes (football): Jim Bakken, Stu Voigt, Donnel Thompson
Notable athletes (other): Reece Gaines (basketball), Awonder Liang (chess), Jay Mortenson (swimming)
Madison West has an eclectic group of alums, including the Heiden siblings in speed skating. Eric Heiden (pictured0 won five Olympic gold medals, while his little sister, Beth, won a bronze Olympic medal. Then, there’s Awonder Liang who, at 14 and while a student at Madison West High, became the third youngest American to qualify for the title of Grandmaster in chess.
Wyoming – Natrona County High School
Year opened: 1896
Notable athletes (football): Taven Bryan, Logan Wilson
Notable athletes (other): Mike Lansing (baseball), Lance Deal (athletics), Floyd Volker (basketball)
While Natrona County High has athletic programs like alpine skiing and nordic skiing, it does not have a baseball team. In fact, high school baseball doesn’t exist in the entire state of Wyoming, which makes the fact that alum Mike Lansing spent nine years in MLB all the more amazing.
While attending NCHS, Lansing had to play American Legion baseball in order to play any baseball at all. That got him noticed by Wichita State University, and from there, he went onto the majors. But Natrona County High will always claim him as one of their own, even though track was the only sport he played at the school.