Seattle’s hoops history is rich, Seattle’s hoops history is proud. So when you can say you played on the best high school basketball team to ever come out of the 206, that’s a pretty distinct honor.

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It’s a city that has produced NCAA All-Americans, NBA All-Stars, and world champions. It’s a town every major college basketball coach in the country eyes for potential recruits.

Seattle’s hoops history is rich, Seattle’s hoops history is proud. So when you can say you played on the best high school basketball team to ever come out of the 206, that’s a pretty distinct honor.

After Saturday’s WIAA 3A state title, Nathan Hale players can make that very claim. The Raiders’ 68-51 win over Garfield secured that particular bragging right.

A year ago, Hale was a 3-18 cellar-dweller that served as a “bye” game for most teams in the Metro League. Saturday, it ended its season with a 29-0 record and the No.1 national ranking in just about every major poll.

No Seattle-area basketball team has ever been that highly regarded. No group has stormed through the best teams in the city and country with such ferocity.

Not only did Hale go 7-0 against Garfield and Rainier Beach — the perennial basketball kings of this city — they beat Sierra Canyon (ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time) and Oak Hill Academy, which might be the top high school basketball program ever. Expectations were skyscraper high before the season, but the Raiders managed to clear them by a good 10 stories.

“We kind of felt pressure from the beginning,” said Hale coach Brandon Roy. “We understood that everybody wanted to be the one who knocked us off, and we knew that party would be a lot bigger than any one we’d ever throw. We just wanted to defend our record and we did an unbelievable job.”

Granted, some might point out that this ascension didn’t exactly happen organically. After Roy, a former NBA All-Star and Garfield High legend, accepted the head coaching job last summer, seven players transferred to the school. The most prominent, of course, was 6-foot-9 Michael Porter Jr. — the Washington-bound senior who’s considered the No. 1 recruit in the country.

With point-guard handles and a pinpoint outside jumper he can get off whenever he wants, Porter could have made state title contenders out of any program he chose.

His 27 points and 17 rebounds leapt off the stat sheet Saturday, and he leapt about four feet off the ground when he threw himself an alley-oop off the backboard in the final minute of the game.

But this program also includes Porter’s younger brother Jontay, who ESPN considers to be the state’s top recruit for the 2018 class. It has P.J. Fuller, who’s considered the state’s top recruit for 2019.

It had seniors Tre’var Holland and Keegan Crosby, who would have been stat-sheet stuffers on most teams in the state. And, of course, it has another Porter — Coban — who will be a sophomore next season.

The question of whether this was Seattle’s most accomplished high school hoops team seems to be answered. The more intriguing question, however, is — what’s next?

Saturday, Roy said that he expects to be back as Hale’s coach next year. He didn’t go beyond that, but his immediate plans seem to be set.

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Upon his retirement from the NBA, Roy worried that he would never find the same satisfaction he felt during his playing days, but said that coaching the Raiders has been every bit as fulfilling.

So the next question is — Will Beach, Garfield and Hale be the Big 3 in this town going forward, or was this a one-time disruption in the natural order of this town’s high school basketball scene?

Roy said Saturday that he hated that his first state championship as a player or coach had to come against Garfield. He always wanted to help add state titles to alma mater, not take one as he did in the Tacoma Dome. But considering what he accomplished this season, it’s quite possible he’ll become his former school’s greatest nemesis.

After all, Brandon proved that he can coach. His teams played sound basketball and often made second-half adjustments that led to huge runs. Aspiring college players will be drawn to someone who can teach them, and Roy’s stature will be a major allure.

Of course, some might say that kids shouldn’t be picking a school based on its basketball coach — that all this transferring isn’t what prep sports are supposed to be about. Hale players certainly heard plenty of noise about that this year.

A lot of people frown on the way the Raiders came together, arguing that it wasn’t built so much as manufactured.

Did that bother the team?

“Periodically it would get brought up, but it’s not going to take away from what we did,” Roy said. “We weren’t going to let it be a distraction … you gotta beat us on the floor, and we proved this year that nobody could do it.”

No nobody could do it. And fan or not, you have to acknowledge what Hale achieved.

The Raiders aren’t just Washington’s best this year — they’re Seattle’s best of all time.