Thursday’s NBA Draft proved once again that the Culligan City of Palms Classic is America’s No. 1 high school basketball tournament. Seven of the 60 players chosen appeared in the Culligan City of Palms Classic at least once, and R.J. Barrett, who went third overall to the New York Knicks, played in the event in both 2015 and 2016. The Culligan City of Palms Classic produced two top five picks, three top 10 picks and five first-rounders.
“If you want to see tomorrow’s NBA stars today, there’s no better place to go than the Culligan City of Palms Classic,” said John Naylor, the tournament’s executive director. “The amount of talent that comes through here year after year is simply remarkable.”
Thirty draftees in the past three years have been Culligan City of Palms Classic alumni, and one out of every seven players in the NBA last year took part in the tournament. Half of the players chosen No. 1 overall in the 2010s came from the Culligan City of Palms Classic.
Each Culligan City of Palms Classic player chosen in this year’s draft is listed below, along with his draft position, NBA team, high school and year of appearance in the tournament.
3. R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks (Montverde Academy, 2015 and 2016)
5. Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers (Brentwood Academy, 2016)
10. Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks (Westtown, 2015 and 2016)
17. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans* (Hamilton Heights, 2015)
25. Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers (Orlando Christian Prep, 2017)
34. Bruno Fernando, Atlanta Hawks** (Montverde Academy, 2015)
46. Talen Horton-Tucker, Los Angeles Lakers*** (Simeon, 2017)
*-From Brooklyn Nets via Atlanta Hawks
**-From Chicago Bulls via Philadelphia 76ers
***-From Brooklyn Nets via Orlando Magic
The trend is poised to continue. Three of the projected top six picks in the NBADraft.net 2020 mock draft played in the Culligan City of Palms Classic, and many of them will be playing top-level college basketball starting this fall. Visit cityofpalmsclassic.com to keep up with all the past and future Culligan City of Palms Classic stars.