First Team

The First Team program ran from 2001-2011 as a way to mentor high-profile high school student-athletes in the sport of basketball and help them navigate the recruiting process to become independent thinkers for their own future. The program started under the NCAA umbrella.

More than 300 high school boys completed the First Team program during its 10-year run, and 286 of them went on to attend college. Of those, nearly 79 percent played college basketball, with about 10 percent more playing another collegiate sport.

In addition to the success in college, many of them eventually found success playing professional sports. The program produced 16 NBA draft picks, including names like Greg Oden, O.J. Mayo, Eric Gordon, Brandon Knight and Kyrie Irving. Several more have gone on to play basketball professionally overseas. Two alums, Marcus Gilchrist and Sergio Brown, chose football and are playing in the NFL.

The mission of First Team was to teach high-profile players to "use basketball, don't let basketball use you." Use your athletic talents in the sport of basketball to further your education and open up many other doors along the way. The countless success stories back up that mantra.

Browse through this section to view information on the program, read articles about some of its alums and learn more about the NCAA recruiting process.

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First Team Videos


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