For the first time, the NBA held its annual draft in the middle of the NFL season, which led us to wonder: Who are the greatest football-basketball dual athletes in high school history?

To give parameters to our list, we tried to only include athletes who earned All-American honors in at least one of the sports or played at the professional level in one of the sports.

The list includes Hall of Fame athletes like Jim Brown from the NFL and Allen Iverson from the NBA along with current all-stars like LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes. The accomplishments listed are from their prep careers along with the year they graduated from high school. 

We’ll run the first half today, the second half on Wednesday, Nov. 25. 


Top 50 basketball/football athletes

1. Jim Brown, Manhasset (N.Y.), 1953

Football: On his way to a Hall of Fame NFL career, Brown earned All-American honorable mention and averaged nearly 15 yards a carry.

Basketball: The leading scorer in the nation as a senior, Brown averaged 38 points per game.


2. Randy Moss, DuPont (Wilmington, Del.), 1995

Football: Earned All-American honors while leading DuPont to a state championship.

Basketball: Named state player of the year two years in a row and scored 1,713 career points.


3. Ronald Curry, Hampton (Va.), 1998

Football: A two-time Parade All-American, Curry led Hampton to back-to-back mythical national championships with 185 career touchdowns rushing and passing.

Basketball: Earned Parade All-American honors and played basketball at North Carolina. Named Mr. Basketball in Virginia as a senior.


4. Danny Ainge, North Eugene (Eugene, Ore.), 1977

Football: An All-American selection by Scholastic Coach, Ainge was an all-state pick as a defensive back.

Basketball: Led North to an undefeated state championship and made Parade All-American

5. Quinn Buckner, Thornridge (Dolton, Ill.), 1972

Football: Buckner was an All-American receiver at Thornridge, leading the team in scoring with eight touchdowns on returns his final two seasons.

Basketball: Led team to two state titles and the 1972 team is considered one of the greatest in state history. Earned All-American honors by multiple media outlets.


6. George McGinnis, Indianapolis Washington (Ind.), 1969

Football: Earned All-American honors as a receiver and defensive end.

Basketball: Led Washington to a 31-0 record while making the All-American team.


7. Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette (Pa.), 2008

Football: One of the few players in history to earn Parade All-American honors in football and basketball, Pryor led Jeannette to a state title as a senior and was named Parade National Player of the Year.

Basketball: Led Jeannette to a state title as a senior and was a Parade fourth team All-American.


8. Tony Gonzalez, Huntington Beach (Calif.), 1994

Football: Gonzalez earned All-American honors in football, catching 62 passes for 945 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Basketball: Averaged 17 points per game as a junior and was named the Orange County player of the year as a senior.


9. Patrick Mahomes, Whitehouse (Texas), 2014

Football: The MaxPreps National Athlete of the Year, Mahomes earned Parade All-American honors while throwing for 4,619 yards and 50 touchdowns. He’s gone on to win NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP honors.

Basketball: Averaged 18 points per game and was an All-District choice in basketball.


10. Willie Wilson, Summit (N.J.), 1974

Football: Although he played professional baseball, Wilson was an outstanding football and basketball player. He was a Parade All-American in football.

Basketball: Wilson earned all-state honors and averaged 18 points a game.


11. LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), 2003

Football: Did not play football as a junior or senior, but James earned all-state honors at wide receiver as a sophomore.

Basketball: Three-time Parade All-American and two-time National Player of the Year. Had 2,646 career points and led team to a mythical national championship.


12. Stan Rome, Valdosta (Valdosta, Ga.), 1974

Football: Rome had 201 catches for 4,447 yards and 45 touchdowns while earning Parade All-American honors.

Basketball: Averaged 32 points per game while making the All-American team. Played basketball and football at Clemson.


13. Allen Iverson, Bethel (Hampton, Va.), 1993

Football: Led team to state championship and was the state Player of the Year as a junior.

Basketball: Earned All-American honors and was the state Player of the Year while leading team to a state title his junior season.


14. Tim Couch, Leslie County (Hyden, Ky.), 1996

Football: Finished his career with a national record 12,104 yards and went on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft by the Browns.

Basketball: Averaged 36 points per game as a junior and finished his career with 3,023 points.


15. Terry Kirby, Tabb (Yorktown, Va.), 1989

Football: Led Tabb to a state championship and was an All-American while finishing with 7,428 career yards.

Basketball: Scored 2,246 points in his career and was the Class 2A state player of the year and a Converse All-American.


16. Deion Sanders, North Fort Myers (Fla.), 1985

Football: An All-Southwest Florida selection as a quarterback and defensive back en route to a Hall of Fame NFL career.

Basketball: Averaged 24 points per game and made the All-Southwest Florida squad.


17. Greg Paulus, Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, N.Y.), 2005

Football: Named the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year after leading Christian Brothers Academy to a state championship. He threw for a state record 11,760 yards in his career. Played quarterback at Syracuse.

Basketball: Named Mr. Basketball in New York and finished with 2,399 career points. Played point guard at Duke.


18. Julius Peppers, Southern Nash (Bailey, N.C.), 1998

Football: A Parade All-American, Peppers was one of the top defensive linemen in the nation as a senior.

Basketball: Made the all-conference team and played basketball at North Carolina.


19. Bruce Hardy, Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), 1974

Football: Named All-American as a quarterback and was twice named all-state.

Basketball: Earned state player of the year honors two straight seasons and led Bingham to a state championship.


20. Dave Logan, Wheat Ridge (Colo.), 1972

Football: Logan made the All-American team after catching 70 passes for 1,130 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Basketball: An all-state selection, Logan averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds.


21. Cris Carter, Middletown (Ohio), 1983

Football: Made the Parade All-American team after intercepting 10 passes on defense and catching 35 passes for 757 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Basketball: Averaged 23 points per game and was All-Southwestern Ohio second team as a senior.


22. Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.), 2012

Football: Set the national record (since broken) for career receiving yardage with 6,358 yards. Named MaxPreps Athlete of the Year as a sophomore.

Basketball: Named Class 5 state Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior.


23. Carl Pickens, Murphy (N.C.), 1989

Football: Earned Parade All-American honors as a senior wide receiver with 24 touchdown receptions.

Basketball: Averaged 27 points per game as a senior and was All-Western North Carolina.


24. Charlie Ward, Thomas County Central (Thomasville, Ga.), 1988

Football: The Class AAA Player of the Year had 1,007 yards rushing and 1,891 yards passing. Went on to win the Heisman Trophy while at Florida State.

Basketball: The future member of the New York Knicks was a second team Class AAA all-state selection.


25. Andre Rison, Northwestern (Flint, Mich.), 1985

Football: Played quarterback and defensive back and was named captain of the Detroit Free Press all-state team.

Basketball: Was point guard on a Northwestern team that had a 43-game win streak. He was all-state along with teammate Glen Rice.

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