When one thinks about Northern California and basketball, names of NBA all time greats come to mind. Jason Kidd and Gary Payton famously battled along the Oakland Basketball circuit, a couple of competitive kids who would go on to have hall of fame careers (Kidd hasn’t been enshrined yet, but will undoubtedly be a first ballot hall of famer), signature shoes, ultra cool nicknames (Payton’s “The Glove” is about as good as alternate monikers get), and a combined two NBA championships.
Now, a new generation of aspiring superstars grace blacktops throughout the Northern California region, with hoop dreams and aspirations to reach the success of the aforementioned icons of the game. Both Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd High School) of Oakland and Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove High School) of Elk Grove are regional studs who have earned themselves spots in the ESPN top 100 for the recruiting prospects of 2015.
The following is a profile of both of these young stars from the Golden State as they head into their senior seasons.
Ivan Rabb– Six foot-ten Ivan Rabb out of Bishop O’Dowd has all the tools to join the upper echelon of Oakland Basketball, with the power forward possessing the potential to go down along names such as Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Bill Russell, and Paul Silas. Despite this pool of Oakland talent, Rabb’s game is most comparable to a more young and developing version of a kid from South Carolina by the name of Kevin Garnett. Physically, Rabb’s lankiness is comparable to the body of the prodigy who went straight from Farragut Academy to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In terms of a current NBA physical comparison, Rabb’s physique is akin to a Chris bosh type player. However, the skillset of Rabb is much more like that of the Big Ticket, ferociously finishing dunks and blocking seemingly any shot that comes within the vicinity of the basket. Even more impressive, Rabb already possesses an impressive post-up game, being able to finish skillfully with either hand or use advanced footwork to pull off turnaround, fadeaway, and step back jumpers while backing down a defender.
Ranked as the 5th overall player in the class of 2015, the California phenom acquired offers from basketball powerhouses such as Arizona, Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA.
Ivan Rabb is the real deal, and should be as dominant in college as he has been as a high school prospect.
Watch Ivan Rabb’s highlight tape:
(Courtesy of YouTube)
Marquese Chriss– Chriss, who holds the rank of 53rd on the ESPN top 100 for 2015, is an athletic high-flyer to say the least. Committed to the University of Washington, the six foot eight product of Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, California uses his natural gifts and skillset to soar for awe-inspiring, acrobatic dunking finishes. On the defensive end, Chriss is able to perform LeBron James-esque chase down blocks, swatting shots that seem completely unreachable.
Averaging a double-double in points and rebounds during his junior year of High School, Chriss has the instincts to be an effective power forward at the college level when he joins the Husky program after his upcoming senior season. Upon arrival in Seattle, look for Chriss to deliver posterizing dunks that leave the opposing defender sleepless (pun very much intended).
Watch Marquese Chriss highlights in this video:
(Courtesy of YouTube)