The NCAA basketball season is finally here, and one player that many people will have their eyes on is Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham. Cunningham is one of the top players in college basketball and is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft.
Cunningham made his college debut and helped lead Oklahoma State to their first win of the season. He displayed a lot of talent as the world got a chance to watch him play.
Cade Cunningham was a standout in high school
Cunningham quickly rose to fame during his high school career. He is a native of Texas, and during his freshman and sophomore year of high school, he attended Bowie High School. Cunningham was a starter on the varsity team his freshman year. After two years at Bowie, Cunningham decided to transfer to Montverde Academy, a national powerhouse in high school basketball. During his junior year, Cunningham averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists.
Cunningham was named to the MaxPreps Junior All-American second team. As a senior, Cunningham played a significant role in Montverde’s team with many talented players. Montverde finished the 2019 season with a 25-0 record. He averaged 13.9 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds his senior year. The awards piled in for Cunningham at the end of his high school career.
He won the Naismith Prep Player of the Year and MaxPreps National Player of the Year award at the conclusion of his senior year. According to ESPN, Rivals, and 247Sports, he was rated a five-star recruit.
Cade Cunningham committed to Oklahoma State over other top programs
In 2019, Cunningham announced that he would play college basketball at Oklahoma State. He chose Oklahoma State over the likes of Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Cunningham became the highest-ranked commit in program history and the first five-star recruit to join Oklahoma State since Marcus Smart in 2012.
In June of 2020, Oklahoma State received a postseason ban from the NCAA for recruiting violations. Even though Oklahoma State received the ban, Cunningham decided to still attend the school rather than signing with another school or going to the NBA G League. The 6’8 freshman was named to the Associated Press Preseason All-America team and was named the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year. There was a lot of hype surrounding Cunningham, and many could not wait to see him make his college debut.
Cade Cunningham had an impressive performance in his college debut
Oklahoma State opened their season up against UT Arlington. This was the first time that the world got the chance to see Cunningham play at the college level. Oklahoma State defeated UT Arlington 75-68, and all eyes were on Cunningham during the game. Cunningham led Oklahoma State in scoring as he finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 7-16 from the field and 2-5 from beyond the arc.
Throughout the game, Cunningham created his own shot and got to the rim at will. With his size and athleticism, he makes it difficult for defenders to try and stay in front of him. He is a talented athlete and is very skilled. There’s a good reason why some project him to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Cunningham will look to have a productive freshman year at Oklahoma State.