Top 10 high school basketball teams in California since 2000

California is an undisputed hotbed of high school basketball. The Golden State produced 55 players who were on active NBA rosters during the 2021-22 season, including DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Paul George, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook among many others.

Golden State also produced the No. 2 high school basketball team this year in Centennial (Corona), which went 33-1 en route to its first state championship.
That got us wondering where Centennial ranks against the best teams in the state since the turn of the century. By evaluating resumes, national rankings and roster talent, we’ve put together a list of the best teams in California since 2000. See the full breakdown below.

File photo by David Steutel

Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball and LiAngelo Ball pose with the CIF Open Division State Championship trophy.

Top 10 California teams since 2000

Record: 35-0

National ranking: No. 1

Notable players: LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo Ball, Lonzo Ball, Onyeka Okongwu, Eli Scott

Tiredness: One of the most exciting high school basketball teams of the 2000s, averaging 98 points and tying the state record with 18 100-point games. Lonzo Ball orchestrated the lethal offensive offense, averaging 23.9 points, 11.5 assists and 11.3 rebounds to earn National Player of the Year honors. The Huskies have outscored their playoff opponents by 29 points per game in eight blowout wins.

Record: 35-0

National ranking: No. 1

Notable players: MJ Cage, Stanley Johnson, Isaiah Juarez, Lavette Parker, Rex Pflueger

Tiredness: Legendary head coach Gary McKnight, who became the fourth men’s basketball coach to win 1,200 career wins in 2022, captured the only national championship of his illustrious career. The Monarchs went undefeated for the first time since 1985, led by Johnson who earned MaxPreps National Player of the Year honors after averaging 25 points, eight rebounds and 3.6 assists during his senior campaign .

34-2

National ranking: No. 1

Notable players: Keith Brooks, Tyson Chandler, Micah McKinney, Darius Sanders

Tiredness: The Dons kicked off the new millennium with a legendary national championship after beating previously undefeated Newark Memorial (Newark) to win the CIF Division II title. Junior center Chandler led the way with 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the title game triumph. Dominguez suffered two losses against Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) and Clovis West (Fresno).

Record: 32-2

National ranking: #5

Notable players: Hassan Adams, Trevor Ariza, Brandon Bowman, Ashanti Cook, Brandon Heath

Tiredness: With a starting roster consisting of five Division I commitments and depth off the bench, the Comets won their first of two consecutive Division I state championships led by 2002 California Mr. Basketball Adams and 2003 California Mr. Basketball Ariza . Adams led the way with a game-high 24 points while Heath notched 20 in Westchester’s 80-75 victory over Oakland Tech (Oakland).

Record: 33-1

National ranking: #5

Notable players: Derek Glasser, James Harden, Shawntell Norman, Jason Pruitt, Malik Story

Tiredness: Behind junior Harden, who averaged 18.9 points and eight rebounds, the Pioneers finished undefeated against national competition with their only loss to Hughes (Cincinnati) by one point. Artesia defeated St. Mary’s (Stockton) 60-41 in the Division III state title game led by Harden (21), Story (12) and Glasser (11).

Record: 33-1

National ranking: No. 2

Notable players: Donovan Dent, Ramsey Huff, Aaron McBride, Jared McCain, Devin Williams

Tiredness: Coming off a 75-70 loss to eventual national champion Duncanville on Nov. 26, the Huskies went 30 straight to claim the program’s first CIF Open Division state title. MaxPreps California Player of the Year Dent and second-team MaxPreps Junior All-America pick Jared McCain were catalysts for group cohesion

7.Westchester, 2009-10

Record: 32-3

National ranking: No. 8

Notable players: Denzel Douglas, Kareem Jamar, Jordin Mayes, Reggie Murphy, Dwayne Polee Jr.

Tiredness: Longtime head coach Ed Azzam was honored with MaxPreps National Coach of the Year honors in 2010 after leading a strong core to back-to-back state championships with a 67-5 record over the course of this period and a consecutive top 10 in the national ranking. Despite three losses, the Comets went 7-3 against ranked opponents and picked up quality wins over Mater Dei, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and St. Anthony (Jersey City, NJ).

8. Mater Dei, 2002-03

Record: 34-2

National ranking: #3

Notable players: Mike Gerrity, Marcel Jones, Harrison Schaen, DJ Strawberry, Wesley Washington

Tiredness: Led by a pair of top seniors in the Strawberry and Washington backcourt, the Monarchs won their fifth state championship under McKnight in 2003. McKnight won eight state titles in 14 seasons from 2001 to 2014, but this team was one of his best. Although the Monarchs lost to eventual national champions St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 64-58, they held LeBron James senior to 8 of 24 shots.

9. Westchester, 2004-05

Record: 25-3

National ranking: No. 2

Notable players: Amir Johnson, Marcus Johnson, Jerard Moret, Will Powers, Ray Reese

Tiredness: This group demonstrated just how lethal it could be in the third quarter of the state title game when they rode 17-0 behind their high-pressure man-to-man defense to extend the lead to 19 points in an eventual 66-45 win. over Serra (Gardena) in the Division I title game. Amir Johnson led the way with 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

10.Westchester, 2002-03

Record: 32-3

National ranking: #5

Notable players: Trevor Ariza, Bobby Brown, Marcus Johnson, Jonathan Toliver

Tiredness: Defeated Oakland Tech (Oakland) in the Division I title game for the second consecutive season, winning 73-63 behind 30 points of 2003 California Player of the Year Ariza – far surpassing McDonald’s All-American selection Leon Powe, who had 16 points in the title game. The Comets notably allowed senior LeBron James to explode for a career-high 52 points in a loss to St. Vincent St. Mary (Akron, Ohio).