BROOKLYN, NY- Out of all the 60 names called in Thursday night's 2021 NBA Draft, no other school in the country will have more alumni drafted than the high school powerhouse of Montverde Academy (FL). Not only will Montverde be setting the record for the most high school players selected in a single draft but they will also have more players drafted in 2021 than any college in the country.
It comes as no surprise considering Montverde's 2019-2020 team finished a perfect 25-0 before the GEICO Nationals were cancelled and was widely considered as one of the best high school teams to ever step foot on a basketball court.
If that last sentence seems outrageous Thursday's first round should make you believe the hype. The top four players from the 19-20 MVA squad should all be first rounders.
Cade Cunningham the 6 foot 8 point guard out of Oklahoma State will be selected with the 1st overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. This will be the third #1 overall pick that Kevin Boyle has coached at the high school level including Kyrie Irving (St Patrick) and Ben Simmons (Montverde). Cunningham starred in his lone season at Oklahoma State averaging just over 20 ppg and 6 rpg along with 3.5 apg. He was named both Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year.
The second Montverde alum that will hear his name called tonight is the 6'8'' 225 lb Point Forward Scottie Barnes out of Florida State. Barnes won't have to wait much longer than Cade, as it appears he will likely head to Orlando with the 5th overall pick. Barnes came off the bench at FSU but still impressed NBA scouts with his size while also scoring 9.7 ppg and grabbing 4.9 rebounds earning his way to ACC Freshman of the Year honors.
Moses Moody, the 6'6" guard from Arkansas, will hear his name in the late lottery of the first round. Moody averaged 16.8 ppg and 5.8 rebounds for the Razorbacks last season leading them to an Elite 8 appearance and also won SEC Freshman of the Year.
So by the end of the lottery (the first 14 overall picks) Montverde Academy (FL) will have already tied the record set by the 1981-1982 Dunbar H.S (Baltimore, MD) team that featured Muggsy Bogues, Reggie Lewis and Reggie Williams all get drafted in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft. The famed 1988-89 St Anthony (Jersey City, NJ) also saw three players drafted, Terry Dehere and Bobby Hurley in 1993 and also Rodrick Rhodes a few year later in the '97 draft.
But it doesn't end there for the Montverde Academy Eagles. 6'11" Center Day'Ron Sharpe is also projected to go in the first round at the latter end. Sharpe came off the bench in his freshman campaign at North Carolina averaging 9.8 ppg along with 7.8 rpg and is the more unfinished project of the four MVA 2020 graduates.
In addition 2018 Montverde alum Filip Petrusev is a projected mid second round pick. Petrusev spent two seasons at Gonzaga where he earned West Coast Conference player of the year in 2020. He originally declared for last year's NBA Draft but ended up withdrawing and spending a year overseas.
Lastly a 2017 Montverde alum and Seton Hall University grad Sandro Mamukelashvili has worked his way through the combine into the tail end of second round projections. The 6'11 240 Point Forward native of Georgia has made a lot of noise in recent months and many experts believe he could be a late steal.
Also don’t be suprised if 2019 MVA grad and Florida State product Balsa Kopravica signs a deal immediately after the draft or sneaks his way in at the end of the second round.
Kevin Boyle and Montverde are no strangers to draft night with some of their most recent and notable alumni being guys such as Joel Embiid, D'Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons and R.J. Barrett. And make no mistake about it, this won't be the last time we hear from the Eagles. Montverde still has Jalen Duren and Dariq Whitehead, two of the Top 5 players in the Class of 2022, who will both hear their names called on draft night in just a couple of years.