From Sidney Crosby to Jim Brown, ranking the greatest high school athletes of all time

By:
Thursday, July 2, 2020 | 6:43 PM


Pro football legend Jim Brown was good at lacrosse.

Jackie Robinson, long before he broke the color barrier in baseball, was a two-time tennis singles champion.

Hockey suited pitcher Tom Glavine well, home run hitter Alex Rodriguez was a terrific quarterback, and NBA guard Danny Ainge, they say, could have gone pro in three sports.

Some of the most well-known professionals were once high school stars who excelled in multiple sports.

Brown and Robinson, for instance, each played five sports.

StadiumTalk.com came up with a list to beat all lists in the arena of best high school athletes ever to wear varsity letters.

The website boldly sets the table with, “Here are the greatest high school athletes of all time.”

The list is vast, includes past and present greats and will surely stir the pot of debate.

An in-depth breakdown not only reveals the array of other sports some of the all-timers excelled at before they became specialized hall of famers, but it also ranks them in a who’s who Top 50.

Pittsburgh Penguins great Sidney Crosby made the list, checking in at No. 40. A baby-faced Crosby is shown next to a bio that lists the two high schools he attended: Shattuck-Saint Mary’s (Fairbault, Minn.) and Harrison Trimble (New Brunswick, Canada).

The former World Junior phenom scored 192 goals in 178 games during his prep days.

Crosby, of course, skated right past college into the NHL.

Late NBA greats Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain also are ranked and both represent Pennsylvania high schools.

Some notable stats to reminisce about include Derrick Henry’s 12,124 career rushing yards and 153 rushing touchdowns, Drew Henson’s 70 career home runs, and Lisa Leslie scoring 101 points in one half of basketball.

Here is the full list with Stadium Talk’s breakdown on each. The full article can be viewed here.

50. Ken Griffey Jr. (Baseball, football — Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio)

49. Jerry Lucas (Basketball, track and field — Middletown, Ohio)

48. Robert Griffin III (Football, basketball, track and field — Copperas Cove, Texas)

47. Willie Wilson (Baseball, football, basketball — Summit, Union County, N.J.)

46. David Clyde (Baseball, football — Westchester Academy for International Studies, Houston, Texas

45. Tom Glavine (Baseball, hockey — Billerica Memorial, Billerica, Mass.

44. Kobe Bryant (Basketball — Lower Merion, Ardmore, Pa.)

43. Tim Tebow (Football, baseball, basketball — Homeschooled, played at Allen D. Nease, Ponte Vedra, Fla.)

42. Ronald Curry (Football, Basketball — Hampton, Va.)

41. Josh Booty (Football, baseball — Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, La.)

40. Sidney Crosby (Hockey — Shattuck-Saint Mary’s, Fairbault, Minn.; Harrison Trimble, New Brunswick, Canada)

39. Bobby Fischer (Chess — Erasmus Hall, Brooklyn, N.Y.)

38. Marcus Dupree (Football, basketball, baseball — Philadelphia, Miss.)

37. Greg Paulus (Basketball, football — Christian Brothers Academy, DeWitt, N.Y.)

36. Elena Delle Donne (Basketball, volleyball — Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, Del.)

35. Allen Iverson (Basketball, football — Bethel, Hampton, Va.; Milburn Schools, Lake Ridge, Va.)

34. Moses Malone (Basketball — Petersburg, Va.)

33. Alex Rodriguez (Baseball, football — Westminster Christian, Palmetto Bay, Fla.)

32. Danny Goodwin (Baseball — Peoria, Ill.)

31. Trevor Lawrence (Football, basketball — Cartersville, Cartersville, Ga.)

30. Bruce Hardy (Football, basketball, baseball — Bingham, South Jordan, Utah)

29. Simone Biles (Gymnastics — Homeschooled, Spring, Texas)

28. Rick Mount (Basketball — Lebanon, Ind.)

27. Lisa Leslie (Basketball, volleyball, track and field — Morningside, Inglewood, Calif.)

26. CC Sabathia (Baseball, football, basketball — Vallejo, Calif.)

25. Ed “Too Tall” Jones (Football, baseball, basketball, boxing — Jackson Central, Tenn.)

24. Jadeveon Clowney (Football, basketball, track and field — South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C.)

23. Wilfred Benitez (Boxing — Julio Vizcarrondo Coronado, Carolina, Puerto Rico)

22. Drew Henson (Football, Baseball, Basketball — Brighton, Mich.)

21. J.R. Richard (Baseball, basketball — Lincoln Prep, Ruston, La.)

20. Michael Phelps (Swimming — Towson, Md.)

19. Magic Johnson (Basketball — Everett, Lansing, Mich.)

18. Joe Mauer (Baseball, football, basketball — Cretin-Derham Hall, Saint Paul, Minn.)

17. Ken Hall (Football — Sugar Land, Texas)

16. Emmitt Smith (Football, track and field — Escambia, Pensacola, Fla.)

15. Bryce Harper (Baseball — Las Vegas, Nev.)

14. Wilt Chamberlain (Basketball, track and field — Overbrook, Philadelphia)

13. Marion Jones (Track and field, basketball — Rio Mesa, Oxnard, Calif.; Thousand Oaks, Calif.)

12. Randy Moss (Football, basketball, baseball, track and field — DuPont, Belle, W.Va.)

11. Derrick Henry (Football, basketball, track and field — Yulee, Fla.)

10. Jim Ryun (Track and field, cross country — Wichita East, Wichita, Kan.)

9. Danny Ainge (Basketball, baseball, football — North Eugene, Eugene, Ore.)

8. Tiger Woods (Golf — Western, Anaheim, Calif.)

7. Herschel Walker (Football, basketball, track and field — Johnson County, Wrightsville, Ga.)

6. Kyler Murray (Football, baseball — Allen, Texas)

5. LeBron James (Basketball, football — St. Vincent-St. Mary, Akron, Ohio)

4. Cheryl Miller (Basketball — Riverside Polytechnic, Riverside, Calif.)

3. Jackie Robinson (Baseball, basketball, football, track and field, tennis — John Muir, Pasadena, Calif.)

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Basketball — Power Memorial Academy, Manhattan, N.Y.)

1. Jim Brown (Football, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, track and field — Manhasset Secondary School, Manhasset, N.Y.)

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

More High School Other

AD job at Eden Christian leads Latrobe grad back to Western Pennsylvania
Penn Hills could become 2nd WPIAL school to drop ‘Indians’ nickname
PIAA emphasizes ban on spectators comes from Gov. Wolf — not PIAA
Pa. health secretary: Data will guide state’s approach to high school sports
Norwin overcomes logistics, selects smaller, all-female hall of fame class

click me