Video: MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings
Prolific Prep is ranked No. 8 in the nation
One of Northern California's biggest and best boys basketball events — Crush in the Valley Basketball Showcase — takes place Friday-Sunday at Solano College in Fairfield.
As if the 21-game, three-game event could get any better, the headliners grew in stature on Thursday as co-host school Prolific Prep of Napa Christian (Napa, Calif.)
found out that its two stellar stars, Jalen Green
and Nimari Burnett
were both named McDonald's All-Americans.
Green, who on Wednesday, was just elevated to the No. 1 recruited player in the country by 247Sports, averages 27.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 off-guard is uncommitted.
Burnett, already signed to Texas Tech, is the No. 21 national recruit. The 6-4 combo guard, with a 6-9 wingspan, averages 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
Both have lifted Prolific Prep to a 20-2 record and No. 8 national rankings by MaxPreps.com. The Crew play three games during the unique event that blends both academy schools — not eligible for state championships — and NFHS/CIF squads,
Prolific Prep plays Friday (8 p.m. vs. Bella Vista (Ariz.), Saturday (7 p.m. vs. Dream City Christian (Ariz.) and Sunday (3:30 p.m. vs. PHH Phoenix Prep (Ariz.).
Green and Burnett are the prep version of James Harden and Michael Westbrook of the NBA. Like Westbrook in Houston this season, Green came to Prolific Prep just this season after three years at San Joaquin Memorial in Fresno. Many wondered how Green would fit in with Burnett, who has been at the Napa campus since he was a sophomore.
"Their skills are unique, but they mesh well together on and off the court," Prolific Prep co-director Philippe Doherty. "It's so rare to have teammates who are so talented and can play together with or without the ball in their hands."
Both played for Westbrook's AAU team Whynot that lost in Nike's Peach Jam Tournament in Georgia last summer. That's where they first started getting acclimated.
They've flourished from the get go, with Green averaging 27.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Burnett came in at 25.5, 6.5 and 5.5 per game. Green (175 pounds) is a high flier with great shooting range while Burnett (185), with a 6-9 wingspan, attacks from all angles and is also an effective 3-point shooter.
Green, who is uncommitted to college, has won three gold medals as a member of USA basketball. Doherty said it goes well beyond Green's natural talent.
"It looks effortless for him, but people don't realize how hard he works at his game," Doherty said. "He's super competitive. He works out with Stephen Curry and his trainer in San Francisco. He's in the gym constantly working on his game. Sometimes it's a concern. You want to put the Ferrari in the garage."
Burnett is long and skilled, Doherty said. "He can really shoot and he can really defend. He's the complete package."
Where Green is outgoing and social — he has 714,000 Instagram followers — Burnett is very quiet, focused and studious. A 3.7 student, Stanford was one of his 22 scholarship offers. "He's meticulous or organized and regimented," Doherty said. "He's very mature."
The Crush also features co-host Salesian College Preparatory (Richmond)
(17-3), which has won 11 straight and moved up the rankings to No. 15. The Pride play Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.)
8:15 p.m. Saturday, one of 11 games that day.