New England’s All-Decade Team
The decade has come to a close and so it’s only appropriate that we look back on some of the top prospects to come through New England in the last ten years.
Coming up with an All-Decade Team proved to be too hard with the prevalence of the prep schools and so we trimmed it down to true New England natives who spent their entire high school careers in the region.
That means you won’t see names like Will "The Thrill" Barton, Steven Adams, T.J. Warren, Khem Birch, Devonte Graham, Eric Paschall, Omari Spellman, and Hamidou Diallo, despite the fact that they have all etched their names in the history books of our region and are currently in the midst of successful NBA careers.
New England’s All-Decade Team
Shabazz Napier, Lawrence Academy ’10, Metro Boston, UConn, Minnesota Timberwolves – He led Lawrence Academy to an undefeated season in his final year in the prep ranks, went on to win two national championships at UConn, and was named both AAC Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA tournament as a senior. He was the 24th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is now in his fifth season in the league, having made stops in Miami, Orlando, Portland, Brooklyn, and now Minnesota.
Andre Drummond, St. Thomas More ‘11, CBC, UConn, Detroit Pistons – He was the #1 rated prospect in the country in 2012 before reclassifying back to 2011. He had a moderately disappointing season at UConn and “slipped” to the 9th pick in the 2012 draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2013, won a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup in 2014 with USA Basketball’s national team, has been named to two NBA All-Star teams, and led the league in rebounding three times. He signed a 5-year 130-million-dollar contract with Detroit in 2016.
Michael Carter-Williams, St. Andrew’s ’11, BABC, Syracuse, Orlando Magic – He made an early commitment to Syracuse prior to his junior season at St. Andrew’s but didn’t get much time with the Orange as a freshman. He led them to an Elite 8 as a sophomore and was named second-team All-Big East. He declared for the draft and was selected 11th overall. MCW went on to win the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year award. He’s now played six seasons in the league with subsequent stops in Milwaukee, Chicago, Charlotte, Houston, and Orlando.
Pat Connaughton, St. John’s Prep, ’11, Middlesex Magic, Notre Dame, Milwaukee Bucks – Arguably the most decorated multi-sport athlete to come out of New England this decade, Connaughton was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and won an ACC championship and went to a Final Four as a senior. He’s been drafted twice by MLB as a pitcher with his rights still being owned by the Baltimore Orioles. This is also his fifth season in the NBA after having established himself as a key rotation player with Portland and Milwaukee in the last two seasons.
Kris Dunn, New London ’12, CBC, Providence, Chicago Bulls – He scored 2,000 points at New London High School and was a McDonald’s All-American. His first two seasons at Providence were limited by a shoulder injury but he was both the Big East Player of the Year and Defensive Player as a junior and a senior before being selected 5th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. He’s started over 90% of the games he has been active in over the course of his last two full seasons while averaging over 12ppg.
Nerlens Noel, Tilton ’12, BABC, Kentucky, Oklahoma City Thunder – He was the top ranked prospect in the country coming out of high school, signed with Kentucky, and was taken 6th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft despite having torn his ACL. He missed his entire first season in the NBA with that injury but is currently in 7th season under NBA contract and is still just 25 years old.
Georges Niang, Tilton ’12, BABC, Iowa State, Utah Jazz – He scored 2300 points during his high school career while winning four NEPSAC championships, a National Prep Championship, an AAU national championship, and a Nike EYBL championship. He went on to be one of the most decorated players in Iowa State history, setting a program record for most wins while playing in four NCAA tournaments and being a two-time All-American. The Pacers picked him in the second round in 2016. He joined Utah midway through the 2017-18 season on a two-way contract and played in 59 games with the Jazz last year. He’s averaged 12mpg and 4.5ppg in 27 games so far this season.
Noah Vonleh, New Hampton ’13, Mass Rivals, Indiana, Minnesota Timberwolves – A McDonald’s All-American who was a young senior after reclassifying back to 2013, Vonleh spent just one season at Indiana where he was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Third-Team All-Big Ten. He was the 9th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is now in his 6th NBA season despite still only being 24 years old. Last season was his best yet as he averaged 8.4ppg and 7.8rpg while playing for the Knicks and signed with the Wolves following the season.
Duncan Robinson, Governor’s Academy ‘12, Phillips Exeter Academy ‘13, Middlesex Magic, Michigan, Miami Heat –Robinson was 5’7” as a high school freshman, 6’6” and 175 pounds as a high school senior, and 6’8” and 195 pounds following his post-grad year. He won NESCAC freshman of the year at Williams before making an unprecedented transfer to Michigan. He played three years for the Wolverines and went undrafted in 2018. He signed a two-way deal and spent most of his first season with the G-League Sioux Falls Skyforce. He’s currently in the midst of a breakout season though, having started 28 of 33 games for the Heat and averaged 12.2ppg on 46.2% shooting from 3.
Donovan Mitchell, Brewster Academy ‘15, The City, Louisville, Utah Jazz – He spent two years at Louisville where his rapid development led him to be drafted 13th overall and has been the subject of ESPN features. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team after averaging 20.5ppg, 3.7apg, and 3.7rpg in 2017-18 and also won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest. He pushed those averaged to 23.8ppg, 4.2apg, and 4.1rpg in 2018-19 and is now considered one of the best guards in the NBA.
Terance Mann, Tilton ’15, BABC, Florida State, Los Angeles Clippers – He won a NEPSAC championship at Tilton and was a three-year captain at Florida State before leading the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 as a senior and finishing his career as just the third player in program history with over 1,200 points, 600 rebounds, 200 assists, and 100 steals. He was a second-round pick of the Clippers last June but earned a guaranteed contract and has seen action in 22 games, starting 5, so far this season.
Bruce Brown, Vermont Academy ’16, BABC, Miami, Detroit Pistons – He spent three years at Vermont Academy, leading them to a NEPSAC AA championship as a senior. He averaged 11.8ppg, 5.6rpg, and 3.2apg as a freshman at Miami before suffering a left foot injury mid-way through his sophomore season. He declared for the draft but fell to the second round due to the injury. Detroit still gave him a guaranteed contract. He averaged 19.6mpg in 74 games as a rookie and has started 27 of Detroit’s first 33 games this year while averaging 8.3ppg, 4.5rpg, and 3.6apg.