ST. LOUIS — It's no secret that the St. Louis area produces some of the top basketball players in the country.
Any given night you can flip on a college game, the NBA or even the WNBA and watch some of St. Louis' finest on a national stage.
This year is no different.
There are quite a few local kids who you might someday be able to say "I heard about them when...". So before they hit the big time, it's worth going out and seeing a few of these guys play where it all started.
Here's our picks for the 10 St. Louis area high school basketball players you should go see in person this winter.
Larry Hughes Jr. CBC
Robert Martin – CBC
Kobe Clark – Vashon
Phillip Russell – Vashon
Mario Flemming – Cardinal Ritter College Prep
Lamontay Daughtery - Mehlville
Yaya Keita - De Smet
After Yuri Collins left for SLU, many assumed the St. Mary’s Dragons had no one else to be on the lookout for. But they didn’t account for Sofora Rasas, the 6’5 combo guard who’s averaging 23 points in his senior season.
He’s not a knockdown three-point shooter, but he can create his own shot and get to the basket at will.
He’s the shortest out of the Mehlville trio featuring Davion Bradford and Lamontay Daughtery, but there’s nothing Dylan Branson can’t do on the basketball court.
He stands at 6’4, yet can run point, while at the same time going to the post and schooling the other teams center.
8: Jaden Jones – St. Louis Christian Academy
Jaden Jones is a name few probably know about, but it’s probably because he plays for a school few know about.
He’s a 6’7 forward for St. Louis Christian Academy. His teammate, Jordan Nesbitt, who’s also on this list, gets a lot of attention, but Jones is another guy who is quietly racking up offer after offer from division one programs.
He’s only a freshman, but he’s known as one of the top ballers in the area.
Hazelwood Central’s, Jayden Nicholson has a frame like a division one tight end, yet he’s running up and down the basketball court terrorizing his opponents. While his stats won’t wow you, if you attend a game and watch his production, you’ll realize he’s ahead of his time.
This guy doesn't need an introduction, maybe because you can see him a mile away when you walk in a gymnasium.
Creighton signee, Ryan Kalkbrenner continues to dazzle in his senior season, averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks per game. Twice this season he’s posted a triple-double featuring blocked shots.
He might be the best shooter in the state, and he’s next in line from the Chaminade basketball factory.
Luke Kasubke will look to join the likes of David Lee, Brad Beal and Jayson Tatum as former Red Devils to play in the NBA. He’s a 6’5 forward who can score both inside and outside, while making players around him better. Next season he’s signed to play with Kansas State.
He’s been on the basketball scene in St. Louis for quite some time, but just now is Jordan Nesbitt getting the recognition he deserves.
The sharp shooter stands at 6’7 and loves the task of handling the ball all game as one of the area’s top point guards. He has athleticism many can only dream of and is just scratching the surface of who he can become.
He’s not the biggest, or the strongest, but Ray’Sean Taylor is one of the best hoopers pound for pound our area has to offer. He’s quietly led the Collinsville Kahoks to an undefeated start while averaging almost 24 points per game.
He’s signed to play for SIUE next season, but make no mistake, Taylor has power 5 talent, and that’ll stand out as soon you see him play.
If you like watching high flyers, Cam’Ron Fletcher is your guy.
The 6’6 Kentucky signee lives above the rim, but also has the ability to step behind the arc and knock down a few triples. This season with Vashon, his role will expand after the departure of Mario McKinney Jr. who went on to Mizzou. Expect Fletcher to average nearly a double-double as the Wolverines try to defend their title.
It’s a no-brainer Caleb Love is one of the top athletes to watch in this area.
The North Carolina signee is as smooth as a knife cutting through butter and has the basketball on a string as he carves opposing defenses up.
He’s also added a consistent jump shot to his game, making him that much harder to defend. Love makes the game look effortless and is already averaging 27.7 ppg in his senior season.