Albert King Gene Banks and Earvin Johnson were graduated from high school in 1977 and labeled future stars in the National Basketball Association. They also were the first three players named to Parade magazine's 10-player all-America first team that year.
Johnson entered the NBA draft following his sophomore season at Michigan State two years ago. He was an instant success in the NBA and led the Lakers to the championship in his first year.
Last month, seven of the remaining top nine all-America team members were drafted by the NBA. Six-foot-9 Reggie Hannah of Titusville, Fla., went to the University of Florida before transferring to South Alabama last year. James Ratiff of Eastern High School in Washington played his freshman year at Tennessee, then transferred to Howard. Both will play their final college schedule this season.
King chose Maryland and was selected by New Jersey in the first round, the 10th player picked. Banks, who went to Duke, didn't have a productive senior year and wasn't picked until the second round by San Antonio.
Other Parade First-teamers taken in the first round were Al Wood of Jones County, Ga., and North Carolina by Atlanta, the fourth player picked; Herb Williams of Marion-Franklin, Ohio, and Ohio State by Indiana, the 14th pick; Jeff Lamp of Ballard, Ky., and Virginia, and Darnell Valentine of Wichita Heights, Kan., and Kansas by Portland, the 15th and 16th players picked. Wayne McKoy of Long Island Lutheran and St. John's was taken in the third round by New York.
"That was a very talented group," said Bullet General Manager Bob Ferry."If you have great high school players, the odds are in their favor they'll be good college and pro players. It just shows the college coaches that Parade magazine knows what they're doing. That group is as good as any in the last five years."
Parade picked four 10-player teams. Of the 40 players, 24 were drafted by the NBA this year. Two others, like Johnson, left school early and have been signed. Jeff Ruland of Sachem, N.Y., and Iona, a second-team Parade pick, played a year in Europe before signing with the Bullets this year. Wes Matthews of Harding, Conn., and Wisconsin, a fourth-team selection, was a first-round pick of Washington as a junior last year and was traded to Altanta.
A second-team selection, Danny Ainge of North Eugene, Ore., and Brigham Young, decided to play pro baseball -- and is the starting third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays. Nevertheless, Boston used one of its two second-round picks to select the 6-foot-5 shooting guard.
In addition to Hannah and Ratiff, four other players transferred and are going into their senior seasons. Second-teamers Wilmore Fowler of Palmetto, Fla., left Kansas for Georgia, and Tom Freeman was at Kansas State before moving to Idaho State. Third-teamer Ed Thurman of Lynn (Mass.) Classical transferred from Wake Forest to Holy Cross and James Crockett of Helena, Ark., moved from Arkansas to Arkansas at Monticello.
Third-teamer Greg Boyle of Mundelein, Ill., and Iowa has been hobbled by injuries but is expected to play next season. Fourth-teamer Brian Peterson of Prior Lake, Minn., and Minnesota hurt his back and quit the team. Fourth-teamers Dwan Chandler of Main Central (Mass.) Institute and Boston College and George Ratkovich of Alhambra, Calif., and Southern California will be seniors in the fall.
Other players drafted:
Parade second team: Bobby Cattage of Johnson, Ala., and Auburn by Utah (eighth); Danny Vranes of Skyline, Utah, and Utah by Utah (first); Steve Risley of Central, Ill., and Indiana by Phoenix (eight); Eddie Johnson of Westinghouse, Ill., and Illinois by Kansas City (second) and Oliver Lee of Deland, Fla., and Marquette by Chicago (fourth).
Third team: Gilbert Salinas of Burbank, Tex., and Notre Dame by Atlanta (eighth); Pete Budko of Loyola, Md., and North Carolina by Dallas (fifth); Kelly Tripucka of Bloomfield, N.J., and Notre Dame by Detroit (first); Sam Clancy of Fifth Avenue, Pa., and Pittsburgh by Phoenix (third); Felton Sealey of Bosco (Mass.) Prep and Oregon by Phoenix (10th) and Willie Sims of long Island City, N.Y., and LSU by Denver (fifth).
Fourth team: Larry Petty of Power Memorial, N.Y. and Wisconsin by Los Angeles (seventh); Ray Tolbert of Anderson, Ind. and Indiana by New Jersey (first); Ken Matthews of Dunbar (D.C.) and North Carolina State by Boston (10th), and Ken Page of McKee, N.Y., and New Mexico by Cleveland (fifth).
Second-teamer Drake Morris of Washington, Ill., and Purdue, third-teamer Brian Allsmiller of Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Vanderbilt and fourth-teamer Wil Singleton of Sumter, S.C., and Wake Forest finished college this season and were not drafted.