Cade Cunningham
Cunningham with Oklahoma State in 2020
Personal information
Born (2001-09-25) September 25, 2001 (age 19)
Arlington, Texas
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeOklahoma State (2020–2021)
PositionPoint guard
Career highlights and awards
Men's basketball
Representing  United States
FIBA Under-19 World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2019 Greece Team

Cade Cunningham is an American basketball player. He played college basketball for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Cunningham is considered the consensus number one pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

Early life and career

Cunningham was born in Arlington, Texas to Carrie and Keith Cunningham.[1] His father is black and his mother is white. He grew up playing football as a quarterback, which he claims helped become a better passer and leader on the basketball court. Cunningham focused on basketball after watching his brother play the sport in college.[2] He frequently played basketball with his father and brother at a recreation center.[3] In junior high, Cunningham played point guard for Barnett Junior High School in Arlington.[4]

High school career

Cunningham attended Bowie High School in Arlington. Soon into his freshman season, he became a starter on the varsity team.[4] Cunningham averaged 15.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and three assists per game, helping Bowie reach the District 6A Region I final, and was named District 4-6A Newcomer of the Year.[5] In December 2017, early in his sophomore season, he suffered an injury while attempting to dunk at a tournament in Houston.[6] Cunningham finished the season averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. He was named District 4-6A co-most valuable player (MVP) and earned Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) All-Region honors.[1][5][7]

Cunningham with the Texas Titans at the EYBL in 2019
Cunningham with the Texas Titans at the EYBL in 2019

In the summer prior to his junior year, Cunningham transferred to Montverde Academy, a school in Montverde, Florida with a successful basketball program. He chose Montverde Academy, whose team was ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today, for its academics and coaching.[8] On February 2, 2019, Cunningham recorded 26 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in a 76–51 win over Oak Hill Academy, one of the top high school teams nationally, at the National Hoopfest tournament.[9] At the end of his junior season, after averaging 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, he made the MaxPreps Junior All-American second team.[10] In the summer of 2019, Cunningham was named Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) most valuable player (MVP) after averaging 25.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game for the Texas Titans in the EYBL regular season.[11]

For his senior season at Montverde, he was joined by many more top recruits, including five-star forwards Scottie Barnes and Day'Ron Sharpe. Many analysts regarded his team as one of the best in high school basketball history.[12] Cunningham averaged 13.9 points, 6.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game, leading Montverde to a 25–0 record with an average margin of victory of 39 points. He played only 22 minutes per game due to the depth of his team, which often dominated its opposition.[13] At the end of the season, he was honored as Mr. Basketball USA, Naismith Prep Player of the Year and MaxPreps National Player of the Year.[13][14] Cunningham was selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit, but all three games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]


Cunningham emerged as a top 25 recruit in the 2020 class at the end of his sophomore season at Bowie. He was a consensus five-star recruit and one of the best players in his class.[16] Cunningham received offers from top NCAA Division I programs, including Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina, but many analysts viewed Oklahoma State as his likely destination after the program hired his brother, Cannen, as an assistant coach.[17] On November 5, 2019, Cunningham announced his commitment to Oklahoma State. He became the highest-ranked committed recruit in program history and the first five-star recruit to join Oklahoma State since Marcus Smart in 2012.[18] In June 2020, the NCAA imposed a postseason ban on Oklahoma State. However, Cunningham announced on June 22 that he was still attending Oklahoma State rather than sign with another school or the NBA G League.[19]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Cade Cunningham
Arlington, TX Montverde Academy (FL) 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Nov 5, 2019 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:
   ESPN grade: 97
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 1  247Sports: 1  ESPN: 2
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "Oklahoma State 2020 Basketball Commitments". Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  • "2020 Oklahoma State Cowboys Recruiting Class". Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  • "2020 Team Ranking". Retrieved May 16, 2020.

College career

In his college debut on November 25, 2020, Cunningham recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 75–68 win against UT Arlington.[20] On December 8, he scored 29 points, including 13 in the final 91 seconds, in an 83–78 victory over Oral Roberts.[21] Four days later, Cunningham scored 10 points and made a game-winning three-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation to help defeat Wichita State, 67–64.[22] On February 27, 2021, he recorded 40 points and 11 rebounds in a 94–90 overtime win over Oklahoma.[23] As a freshman, he averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He became the fourth Big 12 player to win Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Freshman of the Year, joining Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. On April 1, 2021, Cunningham announced that he would enter the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his final three years of college basketball eligibility. Analysts regarded him as the consensus number one pick in the draft.[24]

National team career

Cunningham played for the United States at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece.[25] In seven games, he averaged 11.7 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game, helping his team win the gold medal.[26] In the finals, Cunningham led all scorers with 21 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a 93–79 win over Mali.[27]

Career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high


2020–21 Oklahoma State 27 26 35.4 .438 .400 .846 6.2 3.5 1.6 .8 20.1

Personal life

Cunningham's father Keith Cunningham played college football for Texas Tech.[28] His older brother Cannen [pl] played college basketball for SMU, surpassing the school record for games played, before spending one professional season in Poland.[29] Cannen later pursued a coaching career, becoming an assistant coach for Oklahoma State entering the 2019–20 season.[30] Cunningham has a daughter named Riley born in 2018. [31]


  1. ^ a b "Cade Cunningham". USA Basketball. June 20, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  2. ^ Francisco, Alexandra (January 21, 2019). "Quarterback of the court: How football helped Cade Cunningham become a 5-star basketball prospect". The Republican. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Daniels, Evan (July 1, 2019). "Cade Cunningham excels with u19 team, talks recruiting". 247Sports. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Wright, Mark (January 27, 2017). "Towering Bowie freshman plays like a standout at age 15". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Gosset, Brian (July 19, 2018). "One of the top basketball prospects in DFW is moving out of state to a national power". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Wright, Mark (December 15, 2017). "Why this team isn't freaking out about an injury to its standout sophomore". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "2018 SportsDayHS boys basketball All-District lists for area teams". The Dallas Morning News. March 22, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Riddle, Greg (July 20, 2018). "Why 5-star basketball recruit Cade Cunningham is leaving Arlington Bowie to join the nation's No. 1 HS team". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Collings, Buddy (February 2, 2019). "Montverde beats Oak Hill at Hoopfest in Tampa". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Divens, Jordan (April 17, 2019). "2018-19 MaxPreps Boys Basketball Junior All-American Team". MaxPreps. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  11. ^ "Nike EYBL Most Valuable Player: Cade Cunningham". D1 Circuit. July 5, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  12. ^ O'Donnell, Ricky (January 21, 2020). "Why Montverde is being called the best high school basketball team ever". SB Nation. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Divens, Jordan (March 25, 2020). "MaxPreps 2019-20 High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year: Cade Cunningham". MaxPreps. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Nagel, Cody (March 11, 2020). "Cade Cunningham earns Naismith Player of the Year honor". 247Sports. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  15. ^ Jordan, Jason (March 12, 2019). "McDonald's All American Game Cancelled Amid COVID-19 Concerns". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  16. ^ O'Donnell, Ricky (July 26, 2019). "Cade Cunningham is made for modern basketball". SB Nation. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  17. ^ "Cade Cunningham, Montverde Academy, Combo Guard". Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  18. ^ "Cade Cunningham commits to Oklahoma State". Yahoo Sports. November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  19. ^ Borzello, Jeff (June 22, 2020). "Top recruit Cade Cunningham still going to Oklahoma State despite postseason ban". ESPN. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  20. ^ "Cunningham double-double helps Oklahoma St. top UT Arlington". Oklahoma State Cowboys. November 25, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  21. ^ "Cunningham outduels Abmas, Oklahoma St. beats Oral Roberts". ESPN. Associated Press. December 8, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  22. ^ Boone, Kyle (December 12, 2020). "Watch: Oklahoma State star freshman Cade Cunningham buries late game-winning shot to beat Wichita State". CBS Sports. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  23. ^ Medcalf, Myron (February 27, 2021). "Cade Cunningham powers Oklahoma State's NCAA tournament bid -- but will the Cowboys be allowed in?". ESPN. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  24. ^ Zucker, Joseph (April 1, 2021). "Cade Cunningham Officially Declares for 2021 NBA Draft; Possible No. 1 Pick". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  25. ^ O'Donnell, Ricky (July 27, 2019). "Meet the future NBA studs carrying USA Basketball as high schoolers". SB Nation. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  26. ^ "Cade Cunningham (USA)'s profile". FIBA. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  27. ^ DeCourcy, Mike (July 7, 2019). "Elite prospect Cade Cunningham helps USA Basketball again conquer FIBA U19 World Cup". Sporting News. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
  28. ^ Pulliam, Spencer. "Peach Invitational Tournament: 8th Grade Pool Play Recap (Part I)". Prep Insiders. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  29. ^ "Cannen Cunningham". Tulane Athletics. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  30. ^ "Cannen Cunningham, brother of one of nation's top recruits, joins OSU basketball staff". Tulsa World. June 25, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  31. ^