While Oak Hill Academy may not have an in-depth athletic program like other schools, they have had great success with their basketball program considered to be one of the best in the nation. In their 40+ year history, they have never had a losing season and have only had six seasons with at least five losses.
One major reason for their success is that they have had highly recruited players transfer to Oak Hill going on to have great success not only at their school but also at the collegiate and professional level.
Here we will take a look at some of the most notable Oak Hill Academy alumni that went on to have great success elsewhere.
Carmelo Anthony transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior year after spending his first three years at Towson Catholic High School. He helped lead the team to a 32-1 record winning their first 25 games while averaging 21.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He was named to the USA Today All-USA First Team and the Parade All-American First Team. Carmelo would go on to play in college for the Syracuse Orange having one of the greatest college basketball seasons ever. He averaged 22.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals leading Syracuse to their first-ever national championship. His list of accomplishments in his lone college season included: Big East Rookie of the Year, USBWA Freshman of the Year, All-Big East First Team, Consensus All-American 2nd Team, NCAA All-Tournament Team, and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Entering the NBA as part of the loaded 2003 NBA Draft, Carmelo Anthony was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets. Despite some slight hiccups, Melo is still going strong in the NBA to this day playing in his 17th season as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. He holds career averages of 23.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists currently sitting in 10th place on the all-time scoring list recently passing former Washington Bullets great Elvin Hayes. He has made 10 All-Star appearances and six All-NBA appearances in his career.
Kevin Durant is the only player on this list that did not graduate from Oak Hill Academy. He attended Oak Hill in his junior year leading the team to a 34-2 record and was named to the Parade All-American 2nd team. After playing his senior season with Montrose Christian School, Durant played a year in college with the Texas Longhorns. Durant dominated averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 1.9 blocks. He was named AP Player of the Year while also winning the Wooden Award, Naismith Award, Rupp Trophy, Big 12 Player of the Year, and Big 12 Rookie of the Year.
Kevin Durant entered the NBA as the number two overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft to the Seattle Supersonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) going on to win the 2008 Rookie of the Year award. Durant is still amongst the best the NBA has to offer as a member of the Brooklyn Nets even making a case for winning the MVP this season averaging 28.0 points 6.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists. For his career, he has averaged 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. His list of accomplishments including two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, an NBA MVP, two All-Star MVPs, 11 All-Star appearances, nine All-NBA appearances and four scoring titles.
Stephen Jackson transferred to Oak Hill for his senior year after he was declared academically ineligible at Lincoln High School in his home state of Texas. There he led the team to a 31-4 record and was named to the Parade All-American second team. Although Jackson committed to attend the University of Arizona, he was unable to do so due to his low SAT and ACT score. Instead, he would attend Butler Community College in Kansas and entered the 1997 NBA Draft the following year. He was selected in the second round by the Phoenix Suns but did not play in the NBA initially.
Instead, he began his professional career in the Continental Basketball Association not getting a chance in the NBA until 2000 when he was signed by the New Jersey Nets. Stephen Jackson went on to play 14 seasons in the NBA with the Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 steal for his career winning an NBA championship in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs.
Of all the players on this list, Brandon Jennings arguably had the best stint with Oak Hill Academy. Transferring in his junior year from Dominguez High School in Compton, California, Jennings went on to set the school record for points and scoring average in a season (1,312; 35.5). As a senior, Jennings was named Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Mr. Basketball USA, Parade All-American first team, and won the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game. Rather than playing in college, Brandon Jennings opted to begin his professional career early going overseas to play in Europe. This made him the first American player to play professionally in Europe straight out of high school.
After a year playing with Lottomatica Roma in Italy, Jennings entered the 2009 NBA Draft where he was selected 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. In just his seventh NBA game, Jennings became the youngest player in history to score 55 points in a game. He would go on to be selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. In his nine NBA seasons, Brandon Jennings averaged 14.1 points, 5.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds. Jennings continued his playing career overseas playing in China in 2018 and most recently in Russia in 2019.
Ty Lawson transferred to Oak Hill Academy prior to his junior year from Bishop McNamara in Forestville, Maryland. In his two seasons with the team, he led them to a 74-3 overall record and was selected to the Parade All-American first team. Lawson then played in college with the North Carolina Tar Heels where he would play three years culminating in winning an NCAA championship in his final season. During his college career, he won the Bob Cousy Award, was selected ACC Player of the Year, was named to the All-ACC first team and the Consensus All-American second team. Ty Lawson then moved on to the NBA where he was selected 18th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves before being immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets. He played eight seasons in the NBA averaging 12.7 points and 6.0 assists. He holds the Nuggets single-season record for assists in a season. Ty Lawson most recently played in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) with the Shandong Golden Stars and the Fujian Sturgeons respectively from 2017-2020.
Prior to transferring to Oak Hill Academy, Ron Mercer attended Goodpasture Christian School in Tennessee where he was named Tennessee Mr. Basketball twice and was selected to a Parade All-American first team. In his one season at Oak Hill, Mercer received the Naismith Award for National High School Basketball Player of the Year as well as being selected to another Parade All-American team. Mercer then went on to have successful college career playing with the Kentucky Wildcats. He won a national championship as a freshman on a team that also featured future NBA stars Antoine Walker, Tony Delk, and Derek Anderson.
His second and final season with Kentucky saw him lead the SEC in scoring winning SEC Player of the Year, and was selected to the All-SEC team and a Consensus All-American. He led them to a second straight national championship game but was unsuccessful. Ron Mercer then moved on to the NBA where he was selected sixth overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics where he was subsequently named to the All-Rookie First team. He played eight seasons in the NBA with the Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, and New Jersey Nets. He averaged 13.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals for his career.
Rajon Rondo played his first three high school seasons in Louisville, Kentucky at Eastern High School where he was named All-State and was the 7th region player of the year. Rondo led Oak Hill to a 38-0 undefeated season averaging 21 points, 12 assists, and three rebounds. He set a school single-season record for assists in a game (31) and in a season (303) as well as being named to the Parade All-American second team. Rondo then began a collegiate career with the Kentucky Wildcats where he played two seasons. He averaged 9.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.3 steal for his career. He led the SEC in steals as a freshman and ranked second as a sophomore while also leading the SEC in assists per game as a sophomore.
Rajon Rondo entered the NBA as the 21st overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft to the Phoenix Suns only to be traded to the Boston Celtics. Rondo is still going strong in the NBA as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. In his 15 NBA seasons, he has averaged 10.0 points, 8.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals leading the NBA in assists three times and in steals once. He has been selected to four All-Star Games, four All-Defensive teams, and an All-NBA team. He is one of only two NBA players to ever win an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Josh Smith transferred to Oak Hill Academy by way of John McEachern High School in Georgia joining a team that featured the aforementioned Rajon Rondo that would go on to finish the season undefeated. That season, Smith stuffed the stat sheet averaging 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 blocks, and 3 steals on his way to being named to the Parade All-American first team. Although Josh Smith committed to attending Indiana University, he ultimately decided to skip college and enter the NBA Draft where he would go on to be selected 17th overall by the Atlanta Hawks. He played 13 seasons in the NBA averaging 14.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.2 steals. He ranks in the top 30 in career blocked shots and blocks per game. As a rookie, Josh Smith won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and was selected to the All-Rookie second team. He was also selected to the 2010 All-Defensive second team.
Jerry Stackhouse came to Oak Hill from Kinston High School in North Carolina where he was the state’s player of the year. Along with future NBA talent Jeff McInnis, Stackhouse led Oak Hill to a 36-0 undefeated season going on to play and win the MVP of the McDonalds All-American game. He then transitioned to playing in college with the North Carolina Tar Heels. For his college career, Stackhouse averaged 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks. In his two seasons with the Tar Heels, he was named ACC Tournament MVP, two All-ACC tournament first-team selections, an All-ACC first team, and a Consensus All-American first team.
Jerry Stackhouse then entered the 1995 NBA Draft as the third overall draft picks to the Philadelphia 76ers. He went on to have the longest NBA career of any player on this list playing 18 years in the league. He averaged 16.9 points, 3.3 assists, and 3.2 rebounds for his career-making two All-Star appearances including the 2000-2001 season in which he led the NBA in total points scored. His best stint in the NBA came in a five-year tenure with the Detroit Pistons in which he averaged 22.1 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds.
Rod Strickland’s high school career began in New York playing for Truman High School in The Bronx. After leading Truman to a state championship, Strickland transferred to Oak Hill for his senior year where he was named to the Parade All-American first team. He then went on to begin his college career with DePaul University where he played for three years. In his three years at DePaul, Strickland averaged 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.3 steals leading the team to the NCAA tournament each year including two Sweet 16 appearances.
Rod Strickland then entered the NBA where he would play 17 seasons beginning with the New York Knicks who selected him 17th overall in the 1988 NBA Draft. He averaged 13.2 points, 7.3 assists 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in his career. He ranks 13th all-time in career assists and 32nd in career steals. Although he was never an NBA All-Star, Strickland was selected to the All-NBA second team in 1997-1998 a season that saw him lead the NBA in assists.