Bill 'Flash" Flanagan has been evaluating high school talent for more than 30 years. He is a former assistant coach at the high school and college levels. In recent years, he has directed one of the most successful summer exposure events in the Midwest.
Flanagan began evaluating basketball players in the early 1970s when he was an assistant at East Carolina. He later coached at Elgin High School and at Illinois State.
His top five:
Dwyane Wade: This is probably a no-brainer.
Isiah Thomas: Another no-brainer.
Derrick Rose: His career is all in the future.
Shaun Livingston: Was rated by many evaluators, including me, as the No. 1 player in the nation as a senior. He committed to Duke and should have gone there for a couple of years before opting for the NBA. Of course, he knows that now. But hindsight is always 20/20. Great kid with unbelievable talent. His court awareness and vision were second to no one. Great basketball instincts.
Quinn Buckner: He was the player of his era that all others were measured by or compared with for many years.
I have two players in mind who others will mention in their top five, Kevin Garnett and Andre Iguodala. I didn't include Garnett in my top five strictly based on the fact that he only played one year of high school basketball in Illinois. Iguodala had a good career at Springfield Lanphier but went on to develop into a star at Arizona and even more in the NBA.