A couple of years ago, before the Final Four in Atlanta, I put together a blog post called “Before they were Shockers” that showed some of Wichita State’s stars playing for high schools and junior colleges where they made their name. Last year, I did a sequel in St. Louis.
As our technology improved, the host sites for the blogs vanished into the ether. And that’s cool, because it gives me the chance to do it again. Bigger and better, even.
So, enjoy. Plenty more to come from Omaha this week.
Scott City High School, ’11
The junior guard and All-American candidate won the Class 3A state basketball title as a senior. In that game, Baker hit the game-winner against Minneapolis. But he was also a star in football, as this video shows.
And there’s also all the dunks. Check the one he catches off the glass.
Whitefield (Ga.) Academy, ’11
This is actually the same video I used two years ago - it’s a quick clip, but you can see that stopping people was always the main thing for the two-time MVC Defensive Player of the Year. And yes, dude is pronouncing his name in a really funny way.
Vincennes Junior College, ’13
Carter graduated from Akron’s Firestone High in 2011, but became a star and got on the Shockers’ radar with two big years at Vincennes (Ind.) Junior College. You can see ont this video what WSU coaches saw in him two years ago.
Wichita Heights High School, ’11
One of the more decorated high-school stars to come out of Wichita, as he won three straight 6A basketball championships with Perry Ellis and added a 6A football title for good measure his senior season. Used to dunk a lot in high school, but I don’t think he’s dunked in a game yet for the Shockers. If he gets out in the open floor, it’ll happen.
Auburn (Ill.) High, ’12
VanVleet is the greatest player to ever come out of Auburn High, in Rockford, Ill., and led his team to the state championship game for the first time since 1975. This is interesting to watch, for me, because you see in young VanVleet all the seeds to the success he has now.