D’Angelo Russell Recounts Bold Promise Alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons That Startled High School Coach

Published 12/11/2023, 7:13 PM EST

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Even before gracing the NBA hardwood, Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, and Joel Embiid were already household names. Furthermore, one can say that they were known before embarking on their college journey, at least by the basketball community in the nation. In the early stages, Russell and Embiid found themselves as teammates, navigating the challenges of earning playing time. However, as Embiid moved on to transfer to a different school, Simmons entered the scene.

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As Simmons and Russell became roommates, their synergy blossomed on the court. In the 2013-2014 season, they propelled their team to an impeccable 28-0 record. Furthermore, they led their squad to multiple national tournament championships in 2013 and 2014.

D’Angelo Russell reflects on his high-school squad

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Reflecting on his Montverde Academy days, D’Angelo Russell recounted a memorable incident, where he boldly asserted that every member of his squad would make it to the NBA. His audacious claim left one of his coaches stunned, prompting him to seek clarification from Russell. Undeterred and exuding unwavering confidence in his teammates, Russell implied that all 10 players on the roster will make the league, and should be at least second-round picks in the league.

In their upcoming NBA drafts, the three players made the top 3 spots in their respective drafts. Joel Embiid was chosen as the third pick in 2014 and became the process for the Philadelphia 76ers. Russell came to the NBA as the second pick in the 2015 draft and got to share the court with Kobe Bryant. Simmons bought a unique hype alongside him and was catered to the number 1 spot in the draft.

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Moreover, the 2013 and 2014 roster of Montverde stands as one of the most elite and talented squads in the history of high school basketball.

Russell beat Embiid to jersey retirement

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Despite his teammate getting drafted a year before him, D’Angelo Russell outpaced him in having his high school jersey retired. Moreover, Russell held the distinction of being the first and only player in the history of the school to receive such an honor at Montverde.

Russell, initially not heavily recruited, transformed his high school success into a compelling narrative. He ultimately earned an offer from Ohio State University based on his impressive accolades and dominant performances at Montverde.

Presently, Russell is basking in the glory of winning the NBA Cup with the Lakers. Throughout the season, he has maintained an impressive average of 16.6 points and 6.3 assists, shooting at an efficient 48.3% from the field and over 40% from beyond the arc.

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What do you make of D’Lo’s audacious claim? Has he lived up to the hype he generated as a #2 draft pick?

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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