High school sports are becoming more important to athletes earlier in their high school careers as recruiters are looking early for players to potentially fill their college rosters. Sports Illustrated features the top of some of these promising athletes. This list was compiled in connection with Sports Illustrated's cover story on Jabari Parker, a junior at Simeon High School in Chicago, Ill.

Rick Mount - Feb. 1966

Mount attended Lebanon High School, in Indiana, where he averaged more than 33 points per game and once scored an impressive 57 points.

He went on to average 35.4 points in his senior year at Purdue and was eventually drafted by the Indiana Pacers of the ABA.

He retired after 5 seasons.

Tom McMillen - Feb. 1970

Recruited out of Mansfield, Pennsylvania, McMillen went on to attend at the University of Maryland where he also played for the 1972 U.S. Olympic team.

McMillen played 11 seasons in the NBA. After retiring from basketball in 1986, McMillen launched a successful political career and was elected to Congress as a Democrat representing Maryland's 4th district where he served three terms.

Mike Peterson - Aug. 1971

Despite his successes in high school, Peterson wasn’t recruited by any major colleges.

He attended Kansas State Teachers College where he played basketball and baseball.

After a short stint with an independent league baseball team in 1976, he retired from sports.

Bruce Hardy - April 1974

Hardy attended Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah where he excelled at baseball, basketball and football.

Hardy attended Arizona State and was eventually drafted as a tight end by the Miami Dolphins. He caught 256 passes for 2,455 yards and 25 touchdowns during his 12-year NFL career.

After retirement, he went on to coach the Florida Bobcats of the Arena Football League before coaching for Florida International University.

Bobby Carpenter - Feb. 1981

At 17, Carpenter was selected third overall by the Washington Capitols in the 1981 NHL draft.

He was the first American to score 50 goals in an NHL season. He played 18 seasons, compiling 302 goals and 408 assists.

He won the Stanley Cup twice as a player and twice as an assistant coach.

Kristie Phillips - Sept. 1986

Phillips was 14 years old and weighed just 74 pounds when she was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

After Phillips won the U.S. all-around title in 1987 she struggled, making the Olympic team only as a second alternate.

She went on to attend LSU before pursuing an acting career.

Jon Peters - May 1989

Peters was a senior at Brenham High School in Texas when he appeared on the cover.

Shortly after appearing on the cover, Peters lost his first (and only) game as a pitcher.

He went on to play for Texas A&M but eventually blew out his rotator cuff, ending his career at age 21.

Kevin Garnett - June 1995

As a senior, Garnett averaged 26 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, and six blocks for Farragut Career Academy in Chicago.

He was drafted 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995. He was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007 where he won the championship in 2008.

Garnett was the NBA's highest-paid player from 2000-04 and again from 2006-08.

Richie Parker - June 1996

Heavily recruited out of Manhattan Center High School, Parker's scholarship options dried up quickly after he was convicted of sexual assault.

After playing one year at a junior college in Arizona, Parker transferred to Long Island University and graduated in 2000.

He played briefly for the Atlantic City Seagulls of the USBL.

LeBron James - Feb. 2002

A star at St. Vincent – St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, James was drafted first overall by his hometown Cleveland Cavilers.

James played seven seasons for Cleveland, leading them to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history.

In 2010 James signed with the Miami Heat. In 2012 James was won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award for the third time in his career.

Sebastian Telfair - Mar. 2004

Telfair appeared on the cover while playing for Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York.

He had committed to the University of Louisville but decided to declare for the NBA draft instead, and was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers.

Telfair, who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns, is the cousin of former NBA player Stephon Marbury.

Bryce Harper - June 2009

At 16, Harper became the first high school baseball player to be featured on the cover in 20 years.

Harper earned his GED after his sophomore year at Las Vegas High School in order to begin his professional baseball career earlier.

Harper was drafted by the Washington Nationals with the first pick of the 2010 draft.

He made his MLB debut with the Nationals on April 28, 2012 at Dodger Stadium.

Harper is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jabari Parker - June 2012

Parker, son of former NBA player Sonny Parker, is an incoming senior at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, Il.

He is considered the top small forward in ESPN's Super 60 list for the 2013 recruiting season.

At the end of his junior season he was named national boys' basketball Gatorade Player of the Year.

Parker is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is considering the idea of serving a 2-year LDS mission.