Class players of the year Jalen Duren (Juniors), D.J. Wagner (Sophomores) and Derik Queen (Freshmen) headline the 2020-21 Underclass All-American Elite team.
Five juniors and a sophomore named to the 27th Annual All-American Elite Team headline a group of 75 elite players selected to the 2020-21 Underclass All-American team powered by ballislife.com.
Big man Jalen Duren of Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), this year’s National Junior of the Year, was named to the overall All-American Elite first team and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball USA. Juniors Amari Bailey, the California Mr. Basketball, and Emoni Bates, the national sophomore of the year in 2019-20, were third five selections. In the past 27 years under the current selection format, Bates and NBA superstar LeBron James (2001) are the only tenth-graders to earn first five All-American honors.
A fourth junior, Scoot Henderson of Kell (Marietta, Ga.) was named to the fourth five. Henderson re-classified to the 2021 class and will join fellow fourth team pick Michael Foster of Hillcrest (Phoenix, Ariz.) on the NBA G League Ignite team, as more of the nation’s elite players are perusing professional basketball options.
Some media outlets have reported that Duren will re-classify to the 2021 class, but there has been no official announcement. Duren has announced his final five options as he looks to lead Team Final to the 2021 Nike EYBL Peach Jam title in North Augusta, S.C.: Memphis, Miami, Kentucky, NBA G League or Australian National Basketball League. Duren has indicated he will make a decision sometime after Peach Jam.
Each year, more players are classifying up in order to speed up the recruiting process or join a class that will be more advantageous to their development.
Ohio’s Gatorade State Player of the Year, Chris Livingstonof Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, Ohio) and 2020-21 national sophomore of the year DJ Wagner of Camden (N.J.) are the only two underclass picks on the 30-player All-American second team. In 2019-20, no underclass player was chosen to the second team, as a strong 2020 senior class was rewarded for its efforts.
As is the case every year, some underclass All-Americans will transfer programs and a few have already made the announcement.
Junior All-American Richard Isaacs Jr., is headed to Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) from Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah). Fellow 2022 MJ Rice is also headed to Prolific Prep from Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). Sophomore All-American Omaha Biliew is leaving Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa) for national power Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.).
Expect more player movement and some more reclassification as the summer rolls on.
National Grassroots Editor Ronnie Flores selects this performance-based squad with input from Mr. Basketball USA panelists. It is chosen after the conclusion of the season, which makes the Underclass All-American Team more reflective of players who made state championship runs.
Our national coach of the year for 2020-21 is Ray Portela of Sunnyslope (Pheonix, Ariz.).
Juniors to Watch (2022)
F — Terrance Arceneaux, Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 6-7
G — Amari Bailey, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 6-4
F — Emoni Bates, Ypsi Prep (Ypsilanti, Mich.) 6-8
G — Jaden Bradley, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-2
G — A.J. Brown, Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 6-4
F — Andre Casey, Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 6-8
C — Donovan Clingan, Bristol Central (Bristol, Conn.) 6-10
F — Gradey Dick, Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) 6-6
C — Jalen Duren, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-10
F — Barry Dunning, McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.) 6-7
G — B.J. Edwards, Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 6-3
G — Corey Floyd Jr., Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 6-3
C — Joe Hurlburt, Enderlin Area (Enderlin, N.D.) 6-10
G — Keyonte George, iSchool (Lewisville, Texas) 6-3
G — Rylan Griffen, Richardson (Texas) 6-4
G — Bryce Griggs, Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City, Texas) 6-1
G — Sterling “Scoota” Henderson, Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 6-2 G
G — Trejuan Holloman, Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) 6-0
G — Ricky “Pop Pop” Isaacs Jr., Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 6-2
G — Chris Livingston, Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, Ohio) 6-5
G — Fletcher Loyer, Homestead (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) 6-4
F — Mark Mitchell, Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 6-8
G — Arterio Morris, Kimball (Dallas, Texas) 6-3
G — M.J. Rice, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-5
G — Ben Roy, Manasquan (N. J.) 6-1
G — Jaquan Sanders, Our Savior Lutheran (Bronx, N.Y.) 6-3
G — Shaedon Sharpe, Dream City Christian (Glendale, Ariz.) 6-4
G — Nick Smith, Sylvan Hills (Sherwood, Ark.) 6-4
G — Bruce Thornton, Milton (Ga.) 6-2
G — Cason Wallace, Richardson (Richardson, Texas) 6-3
2021 National Junior of the Year: Jalen Duren
Sophomores to Watch (2023)
F — Sultan Adewale, St. Louis Christian Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) 6-7
G — Marvel Allen, Calvary Christian (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 6-4
F — Matthew Bewley, Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.) 6-9
F — Omaha Biliew, Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa) 6-8
G — Kylan Boswell, Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 6-0
F — Taylor Bowen, St. George’s School (Newport, R.I.) 6-8
G — Kanaan Carlyle, Milton (Milton, Ga.) 6-1
F — Julius Clark, Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.) 6-5
G — Isaiah Collier, Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 6-0
G — Gabe Cupps, Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) 6-2
G — Robert Dillingham, Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 6-4
C — Baye Fall, Lutheran (Parker, Col.) 6-10
G — Caleb Foster, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-2
C — Brandon Garrison, Del City (Del City, Okla.) 6-8
F — Rayvon Griffith, Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio) 6-6
F — Ronald Holland, Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 6-8
F — Jalen Hooks, Crispus Attucks (Indianapolis, Ind.) 6-7
G — Jaylen Jones, East Nashville (Nashville, Tenn.) 5-9
G — K.J. Lewis, Chapin (El Paso, Texas) 6-4
G — Chris Lockett, Newman (New Orleans, La.) 6-4
F — Mackenzie Mgbako, Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, N.J.) 6-7
G — Ruben Rodriguez, Reading (Reading, Pa.) 6-1
G — Reed Sheppard, North Laurel (London, Ky.) 6-2
F — J.J. Taylor, Kenwood (Chicago, Ill.) 6-8
G — R.J. Taylor, Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.) 5-11
G — D.J. Wagner, Camden (N.J.) 6-2
F — Ja’Kobe Walter, McKinney (McKinney, Texas) 6-5
G — Isaiah West, Goodpasture Christian (Madison, Tenn.) 6-1
G — Mikey Williams, Lake Norman Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) 6-3
G — Sonny Wilson, U-D Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.) 6-1
2021 National Sophomore of the Year: D.J. Wagner
Freshmen to Watch (2024)
G — Jax Abernathy, Christian Heritage (Dalton, Ga.) 6-3
G — Marcus Allen, Norland (Miami, Fla.) 6-6
F — K. Annor Boateng, Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-5
G — Elliot Cadeau, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) 6-2
G — David Castillo, Bartlesville (Bartlesville, Okla.) 6-2
F — Naasir Cunningham, Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.) 6-7
G — Isaiah Elohim, Heritage Christian (Northridge, Calif.) 6-4
G — Jahseem Felton, Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) 6-3
G — Johnuel “Boogie” Fland, Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 6-3
F — Ryan Jones, The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 6-8
G — Ahmad Nowell, Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) 6-0
F — Derik Queen, St. Francis Academy (Baltimore, Md.) 6-7
G — Malachi Palmer, Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.) 6-5
G — Jamari Phillips, Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 6-2
F — Cameron Scott, Lexington (Lexington, S.C.) 6-6
2021 National Freshman of the Year: Derik Queen
National Coach of the Year: Ray Portela, Sunnyslope (Pheonix, Ariz.).
Note: ESPN selections 2010-2012; EA SPORTS selections 2003-2009; Student Sports selections prior to 2003; Selections are based on high school accomplishment, not future college/pro potential, and are reflective of those that lead their teams to state championships. The editors of Ballislife.com do not knowingly select fifth-year players, and those ineligible due to age or academics, Mr. Basketball USA or to its various All-American teams.