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Data: Maxpreps; Map: Axios Visuals

High schoolers haven't been able to jump straight to the NBA since 2005, though that could change in 2022.

  • For now, the focus is on what the coming season will look like for the nearly one million boys and girls playing high school hoops nationwide.

The state of play: Seven states have already begun their seasons, 31 plan to start before the end of the year, nine will begin play in 2021 and four are still TBD.

  • Already started: Alabama, Mississippi (Nov. 5); Arkansas (Nov. 9); Texas (Nov. 13); Louisiana, South Carolina (Nov. 16); Utah (Nov. 17)
  • Later this month: Oklahoma (Nov. 19); Georgia, Indiana (Nov. 20); North Dakota, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky (Nov. 23); Ohio (Nov. 25); Idaho, Pennsylvania (Nov. 28); Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri (Nov. 30).
  • December: Wisconsin (Dec. 1); Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska (Dec. 3); Delaware, Maryland, Montana (Dec. 4); Michigan (Dec. 7); West Virginia (Dec. 8); South Dakota, Wyoming (Dec. 10); Maine, New Hampshire (Dec. 11); Alaska, Connecticut (Dec. 17); New Jersey (Dec. 18); Virginia (Dec. 28).
  • January: North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Washington, D.C. (Jan. 4); Washington (Jan. 10); Oregon (11); Nevada (Jan. 15); Colorado (Jan. 19).
  • March: California (Mar. 12).
  • TBD: Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont.

Top 5 teams: The Montverde Academy Eagles sit atop the rankings after going 25-0 last season and capturing their fourth national title in eight years. At No. 5 is a California school that won't play games until mid-March. Full Top 25.

  1. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
  2. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
  3. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
  4. Ypsi Prep Academy (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
  5. Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.)

ICYMI ... Chet Holmgren (No. 2 recruit in 2021) and Emoni Bates (No. 1 recruit in 2022) went head-to-head in an exhibition game last week.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

In photos: Americans wait at food banks before Thanksgiving

Residents line up in their cars at a food distribution site in Clermont, Fla., Nov. 21. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Thousands of Americans waited in long lines at food banks in the week before Thanksgiving to pick up turkeys, canned goods, broccoli and other vegetables.

Why it matters: As the holiday season approaches, families across the U.S. are in need of food assistance due to chronic unemployment and economic hardship caused by COVID-19 — and many food pantries already served an unprecedented number of people this spring.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

3 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.