The St. James NIBC Invitational concluded over the weekend after 10 days of action outside of Washington D.C. Fifteen of the top high schools in the country participated, with many of the best prospects going head to head in their first competitive action since the onset of the pandemic in March.
High school juniors and seniors have lost as much high-level basketball competition as anyone. For high school seniors, the fate of the all-star game circuit in April is still up in the air, making this NIBC league possibly their best chance not only of national exposure, but also an opportunity to test themselves against elite competition and sharpen their skills from a developmental perspective.
Word among team participants this weekend indicated that this high school league format could end up being the preferred method for Nike to showcase its stars of the future long-term, in addition to -- or perhaps eventually instead of -- its AAU league, the EYBL. Oversight over prestigious and well-established high school programs, with track records that go back sometimes decades, seems easier logistically than the sometimes chaotic world of grassroots basketball -- including COVID-19 protocols, academic eligibility and travel.
So, which prospects moved the needle? Here's our look at the standouts.