Sons of NBA legends are taking over high school basketball: 'They have the blueprint'

Cameron Boozer (L) and Cayden Boozer are two of many sons of NBA players hoping to make their own path to the league. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Cameron Boozer (L) and Cayden Boozer are two of many sons of NBA players hoping to make their own path to the league. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — There has always been an interest in second-generation NBA players, whether it was Michael Jordan's son, Jeffery, who played at UCF (2010-12) or Shaquille O'Neal's son, Shareef, who played at UCLA and LSU (2018-22). Both players garnered interest from basketball fans around the nation, but it's nothing compared to the influx in popularity to hit the high school scene in recent years with Bronny and Bryce James (dad, LeBron James), Cameron and Cayden Boozer (dad, Carlos Boozer), Kiyan Anthony (dad, Carmelo Anthony) and others.

"They have the blueprint. We're following in their footsteps and just trying to get to the league," Justin Pippen, Scottie Pippen's youngest son, told Yahoo Sports.

Justin's older brother, Scotty Pippen Jr., played high school basketball at Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, California) alongside Kenyon Martin Jr. (dad, Kenyon Martin) from 2015-19 before committing to Vanderbilt and going undrafted in 2022. He signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers that summer and was waived Monday. Martin was a second-round pick in 2020 and is currently with the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I feel like my brother has increased my work ethic, for sure," Justin Pippen said. "Just being in the gym with him and other pros this summer, and my dad as well. He's just telling me to wake up every single day and put the work in."

Right now, there are several high-major players in high school basketball who have familiar last names and come from NBA pedigree. Cameron Boozer is one of the best players in high school basketball, regardless of class, and his dad, Carlos, can be seen sitting in the stands, supporting Cameron and his twin brother, Cayden Boozer, at games. On the same team, Christopher Columbus High School (Miami), are Jase and Jaxon Richardson (dad, Jason Richardson) and all four players are building chemistry and playing really well together. Jase Richardson and Cayden Boozer combined for 13 assists in the championship game at the Border League over the weekend, and their passing and court vision are something they've picked up from being in the gym with their dads and other NBA players.

"We’re all just learning from our dads because they’ve been in the league and they can help us and guide us since they’ve already been through it," Cayden Boozer told Yahoo Sports. "I definitely am a little hard-headed at times, I think we all are, but I try to listen to him and take things to heart when he’s giving me advice because he's obviously played at the highest level."

Jase Richardson is following in his dad's footsteps in more than one way after committing to Michigan State on Sunday. He chose the Spartans over Arkansas, Alabama and Cincinnati. Jason Richardson played for Tom Izzo and won a national championship in 2000, and went on to play 13 years in the NBA.

"My dad, he's got the keys to the car and I'm just listening to whatever he's got to say," Jase Richardson told Yahoo Sports. "We're all just so blessed to be in this situation, but we're putting in the work, too, and trying to make it to where they were."

Jase's teammate, Cameron Boozer, is currently the No. 2-ranked player in the 2025 class and is the best NBA-legacy kid to hit the high school scene in recent memory. Cameron and Cayden Boozer were two of the best players to hit the court at the Border League this past weekend. In a span of two games, Cameron Boozer averaged 25.5 points and 12 rebounds and completely took over the game at times.

"The game has definitely changed, and we have one of the best resources right here to help us get to the NBA," Cameron Boozer told Yahoo Sports of his dad. "Just with training, diet, different drills, how the NBA game is played, he's definitely helped us understand the game better."

Cameron Boozer, along with Cooper Flagg (the No. 1 player in the 2024 class) are the best two-way players in high school basketball with their size and versatility and have NBA teams scrambling for draft picks in the 2025 and 2026 drafts, anticipating their arrival to the NBA.

"They're two of the best prospects to ascend the high school rankings in the past 10 years," one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "Cooper has a two-way skill set and is the best versatile defender in high school basketball, while Boozer might be the most polished offensive player in America. They both have a floor of a starting-level player in the NBA with the chance of developing into all-league players with longevity."

The Boozer twins played for Team USA and won a gold medal at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship and have played in front of NBA scouts several times.

One newcomer with a familiar last name is Kiyan Anthony, who attended the same USA Basketball minicamp as his dad, Carmelo Anthony, did back in 2001.

“It really is a full-circle moment,” Kiyan Anthony told Yahoo Sports. “I remember going to London for the Olympics and now me being here and having a chance to go overseas [to represent USA in the 17-under FIBA World Cup next summer], we have a chance to make history. Even me being here for the minicamp, he was here 20-plus years ago, so it’s just such a blessing.”

Kiyan Anthony is a 6-foot-4 point guard and showed a ton of improvement to his game from the summer AAU season where he played up a division at Nike’s Peach Jam for his dad’s team, Team Melo.

Also in attendance at the USA Basketball minicamp were four other players with familiar last names and dads who played in the NBA: Tajh Ariza (dad, Trevor Ariza), Alijah Arenas (dad, Gilbert Arenas), Jermaine O'Neal Jr. (dad, Jermaine O'Neal) and Dylan Harper (dad, Ron Harper).

"Any time I can get advice or feedback from my dad, from LeBron, Carmelo, I'm going to soak in all the information I can," Tajh Ariza told Yahoo Sports.

The most famous legacy kid to come through the high school scene is Bronny James, who required security anytime he hit the court while playing at Sierra Canyon for four years. Bronny James was a McDonald’s All-American and played for Team USA at Nike Hoop Summit before committing to USC. Prior to his freshman year, Bronny James suffered cardiac arrest during a workout at the Galen Center. He later underwent surgery and is recovering well. LeBron James has said multiple times he hopes to play with his son in the NBA.

"I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny ... either in the same uniform or a matchup against him," LeBron James said last January, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "But I would love to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be ideal for sure."

Bronny James’ future and return to basketball is unknown after his collapse and surgery, but he’s currently attending class and has been seen at USC home football games this season alongside his teammates.

His younger brother, Bryce James, is currently a junior in high school playing at Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, California) and recently took an unofficial visit to Ohio State. Bryce James, a 6-4 combo guard, still has room for improvement and growth in his game and has great shooting mechanics and instincts at just 16 years old.

NBA scouts and executives are able to get out to more high school events and get early eyes on the young talent coming up. While in the gym watching games, they might be drawn to certain players because of their last names, but this group of players coming up are carving their own path, proving to be more than just their father’s famous last name.

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