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The New Golden Age of Florida Basketball

Apr 21, 2008 | Talking Sports with Robert


Two years ago we did a feature on the top 25 boys basketball players over the last 25 years.  At the time we had a top three of Vince Carter, Chris Corchiani and Toney Mack.  All three players had very impressive high school resumes including state titles and winning the Mr. Basketball award for the state of Florida.


My oh my what a difference a couple of years make.  Since that poll, the state has entered what may be called a Golden Era of Basketball.  Over the past couple of years, the state has three players who not only can make a case for their spot in the top 25 but also has a case for top ten considerations.  Today we take a look at three players who has set the standards for Boys Basketball for years to come.


Nick Calathes of Lake Howell will certainly be in the top 25 of Florida Basketball players.  After a career that includes a state basketball championship and being named the state’s top basketball player two years in a row, few will argue his addition to the group.  Calathes help lead his team to four consecutive final four appearances and average over 25 points each of his last three seasons.  If there is an argument against Calathes, it would be that his team only won one championship.  Lake Howell had four Division One players on their team (Nick Calathes Florida, Chandler Parson Florida, Joey Rodriguez Virginia Commonwealth, and John Roberson Texas Tech) and to only win one title is a little disappointing.  Calathes definitely goes down as a top 25 player, but with only one title with a group of great players, his bid for a top three player falls a little short.


Brandon Knight of Ft. Lauderdale Pine Crest is another player who can be in the argument for top players.  Although Knight is only a sophomore, he has already started to cement his legacy in basketball history.  During his first two years, Knight has led his team to two final four appearances as well as a state title this year.  Knight’s best attribute is his basketball IQ.  He is often compared to former NBA legend Magic Johnson because of his complete All Around game.  This past basketball season, he was voted 3A Boys Basketball Player of the Year while playing only half a season.  With two years remaining in his high school career, Knight seems a virtual lock of being in the Top 25 Boys Basketball Players and could really challenge for a top three spot.


That leaves us to our final player Kenny Boynton Jr.  If Knight is compared to Magic, then Boynton just may be Jordan as there is no player in the state with his scoring ability.  The legend of Boynton Jr. started during the summer of his eight grade year when he dropped 45 points in Las Vegas in one of the biggest AAU tournaments in the nation.   Boynton has the most impressive resume of the three candidates.  He helped lead Pompano Blanche Ely to a state title as a sophomore in the state’s largest classification.  He averaged 29 points a game as a sophomore only to raise his average to 35 points a game during his junior year.  In this year’s City of Palms Tournament, Boynton set a scoring record with 61 points in a game.  Boynton is a three time all state performer and was recently named to the Parade All American Team as a Junior.  There has been no player who has played with more eyes on him in the state of Florida than Boynton.


Of all of the candidates, I feel Boynton is the player who will make his way into the top 3.  As a matter of fact, Boynton is a clear number one.  With a constant target on his back, he performs day in and day out. 


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