Stars Do Not Guarantee State Title

Growing up in New York City, my childhood was filled with heartbreak as the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, always seemed to have the New York Knicks' number.

Maybe it was a truth I never realized prior to the Patrick Ewing era, but the teaming of Pippen and Jordan, along with a bunch of adequate role players, made the importance of having two stars crystal clear to me when all the Knicks had was streaky-shooting John Starks to compliment their Hall of Famer.

Since then, championships have been won by Shaq and Kobe, Shaq and Dwayne Wade, Kobe and Pau Gasol, etc.

In recent years, the NBA has taken things a step further due to a select few teams acquiring three stars in the hope of securing a championship like the Miami Heat.

In high school basketball, the similarities are there, but the results can be quite different.

Just about every state I've had the opportunity to research at length leads me to stories about transfers and how they have affected a team's championship hopes for the better.

In many cases, star players from lesser schools in the same district long to play for the "top dog" and transfer before their senior year.

Other stories feature private schools that accumulate phenomenal talent despite small student populations.

While some of these stories have happy endings, just as many do not due to teams with multiple transfers knocking each other off along the way.

In some cases, admittedly more talented teams with transfers simply do not mesh as well in one season and lose to a team of athletes who have played together since childhood.

These are the stories I enjoy reading about most as I naturally look for pockets of the country where basketball remains competitive, but pure. For me, nothing is more pure than a school winning with talent cultivated within its own community.

As HS March Madness continues to cover state championships from around the country, I hope to share a few more of these stories with readers.

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