9. 2002 Lincoln (Dallas)
Texas high school football is well-acclaimed, but Texas high school hoops is not too shabby either. However, the Lone Star State's basketball is often overshadowed by its football, and sometimes its baseball.
With the recent success of teams like Duncanville, South Oak Cliff and Yates, fans nationally have started to pay more attention to teams from Texas. However, the fact that more people are noticing Texas sports from January through March has a lot to do with the 2002 Lincoln team from Dallas.
After a stunning loss in the 4A semifinals in 2001, the Tigers were hungrier than ever. Led by McDonald's All-Americans Chris Bosh, an imposing presence down low, and Bryan Hopkins, an athletic point guard who was equally dangerous distributing the ball or elevating high for a dunk, Lincoln overcame every hurdle it faced.
One such hurdle the team got by was a regular season game against The Colony (Texas), which featured both Deron Williams and Bracey Wright, who was the more highly touted player at the time and also a McDonald's All-American.
Coach Leonard Bishop's squad also won games in Missouri and Louisiana in the 2002 season, but the team's in-state conquests are perhaps its most convincing. It beat the state's top 5A team, Cedar Hill, which was also ranked high nationally, in front of nearly 17,000 fans.
Come playoff time, the Tigers proved their mettle once more, hammering Beaumont Ozen and their future NBA draft pick, Kendrick Perkins, by the score of 71-51 in the 4A state title game.
Lest one thinks Lincoln was a two-man operation, it's worth noting that in addition to Bosh and Hopkins, 6-5 forward William Langrum was also named to the all-tournament team, in addition to netting second team all-state honors.
Guards Kevis Shipman (Baylor) and Jason Allen (Texas Southern) both played at the collegiate level; not to mention, future Oklahoma State Cowboy Byron Eaten was a freshman on the team.
A well balanced, accomplished and mentally fierce team were the 2002 Tigers, one of the few high school teams that could have been victorious in a tournament game.Continue reading