GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Did you go to high school with someone who went on the become famous?
Well, if you’re from Guilford County, the odds of that are pretty high.
Without further ado, these are some of the famous alumni of high schools in Guilford County. If you know of someone we missed, be sure to let us know.
Many alumni of Guilford County high schools have gone on to achieve major notoriety in the world of music.
Fantasia: Andrews High
That’s right, the acclaimed R&B superstar and winner of the third season of American Idol was born and raised in High Point and attended Andrews High School.
Fantasia‘s uncles, The Barrino Brothers, were also a 1970s R&B band that was formed in High Point.
Fantasia has gone on to perform on Broadway and won a Grammy in 2012 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her hit single “Bittersweet.”
Her 2006 hit single “When I See U” topped the Billboard charts for Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for eight weeks.
Adam Lazzara: SW Guilford High
Adam Lazzara, the lead vocalist of the rock band Taking Back Sunday attended Southwest Guilford High School in High Point.
After growing up in High Point, Lazzara moved to New York to join Taking Back Sunday after Jesse Lacey left the band to form the ironically named alternative rock band Brand New.
The group is best known for their 2006 hit single “MakeDamnSure.”
Lazzara also plays guitar and occasionally the harmonica.
Rick Dees: Grimsley High
Rick Dees, the man behind the hit 1976 satirical novelty song “Disco Duck” attended Grimsley High School.
Dees is also known for hosting the internationally syndicated radio show “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown.”
Dees got his start in radio in Greensboro while still attending Grimsley.
“Disco Duck” which features a Donald Duck-esque voice performing over a disco beat was at a time the #1 Billboard hit in the U.S.
Spencer Chamberlain: Page High
Spencer Chamberlain is the lead vocalist for the rock band Underoath. He also was raised in Greensboro and attended Page High School.
Chamberlain joined Underoath in 2003 and has been with the band ever since.
The group has released six albums since Chamberlain joined the band.
After a brief hiatus in 2014, Underoath began to perform again.
Ski Beatz: Grimsley High
Ski Beatz is another musically inclined Whirlie.
Ski Beatz attended Grimsley High School and was born and raised in Greensboro.
He is best known for his work with Jay-Z as he helped produce his debut album in 1996 “Reasonable Doubt.”
Ski Beatz produced the songs “Dead Presidents II”, “Feelin It”, “22 Two’s”, and “Politics as Usual.”
Clarence Avant: Dudley High
Clarence Avant is a legendary music executive, known to many as “The Black Godfather” due to the impact he had on the industry.
Avant attended Dudley High School before he achieved fame.
Born in Climax, Avant went on to become a prominent music executive managing artists such as Tom Wilson, Little Willie John, Freddie Hubbard, and many others.
His career is depicted in the 2019 documentary “The Black Godfather.”
- Billy “Crash” Craddock: Rankin High
- Country and rockabilly singer who gained international fame in the 60s and 70s
The talented alumni of Guilford County also have made their marks in the entertainment industry.
Ken Jeong: Page High
Ken Jeong is an actor and comedian known for his appearances in “Community”, ‘The Hangover” film series, and “The Masked Singer”.
Jeong was also raised in Greensboro and attended Page High School. His father even was a professor of economics at North Carolina A&T State University.
Murphy Anderson: Greensboro Senior High (Grimsley)
Murphy Anderson was one of the most prominent inkers in the world during the Golden Age of Comics.
Before that, Anderson attended Greensboro Senior High School (now known as Grimsley).
Anderson worked on many notable DC Comics characters including Hawkman, Zatanna, Superman, Batgirl, and many more.
He worked in the comic industry for over 50 years and served in the United States Navy from 1944-45.
He passed away in October 2015.
Ted Tally: Grimsley High
Ted Tally is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and playwright as well as an alum of Grimsley High School.
He is best known for adapting the novel “The Silence of the Lambs” into a film for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Tally also wrote the 2002 film “Red Dragon”. His most recent work is the 2018 action-war film “12 Strong”.
Tally also served as a creative consultant on several notable Dreamworks animated films.
Those projects include “Shrek 2”, “Madagascar”, and “Shrek the Third”
He also made an unaccredited appearance in “The Silence of the Lambs” as a SWAT team member.
Kenny & Keith Lucas: HP Central High
Kenny and Keith Lucas are identical twin brothers and frequent collaborators in both comedy and film.
The duo grew up in High Point and attended High Point Central High School for a time.
The duo’s first well-known work was “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” an animated series starring created and written by the twins.
The duo won an Academy Award for Best Orginal Screenplay for their 2021 film “Judas and the Black Messiah”.
Jenn Lyon: HP Central High
Jenn Lyon is an actress best known for her roles in television dramas.
Before making it big in the television industry, Lyon was born and raised in High Point and attended High Point Central High School.
Lyon’s first breakout role was as Lindsey Salazar, a recurring character in the neo-western drama “Justified” from 2012-13.
She then appeared as George Lopez’s ex-wife in the briefly lived sitcom “Saint George” in 2014.
She got her breakout in 2017 as she starred as Jennifer Husser in the comedy-drama “Claws” which ran until 2022.
Brett Claywell: Dudley High
Brett Claywell is an actor best known for his roles in television dramas and soap operas.
Claywell was born in Greensboro and attended Dudley High School.
His breakout role was playing Tim Smith in the series “One Tree Hill” where he appeared in 33 episodes.
Claywell then played a main role in the soap opera “One Life to Live” appearing as Kyle Lewis in 97 episodes of the series.
Claywell has also appeared in two episodes of “Dawson’s Creek”.
Debra L. Lee: Dudley High
Debra L. Lee is a notable name in the entertainment industry.
Before becoming the CEO and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television, she attended Dudley.
Lee started off working in legal affairs at BET before becoming CEO in 2005 and remained in that role until 2018.
She worked at BET for over 30 years.
Brandon Jones: NE Guilford High
Brandon Jones is an actor that’s made appearances in a number of well-known works.
Prior to Hollywood, Jones attended Northeast Guilford High School.
Some of Jones’ better-known roles are as Andrew Campbell in 12 episodes of “Pretty Little Liars” and as Ted Danson’s character’s son in four episodes of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.
He has also made bit appearances in shows such as “The Big Bang Theory”, “Empire”, “The Middle”, “Two Broke Girls”, and “Supernatural”.
Jones also played Liam Olmstead in six episodes of “The Fosters”.
- Emily Spivey: Andrews High
- Television writer and voice actress, creator of “Up All Night” and “Bless the Harts”, also wrote for “Saturday Night Live”
Curly Neal: Dudley High
Curly Neal, the legendary Harlem Globetrotter, was born and raised in Greensboro and attended Dudley High School where he starred as a basketball player.
Neal became known to an international audience by starring in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons “Harlem Globetrotters” and “The Super Globetrotters.”
Neal starred for the Globetrotters from 1963-1985 and is considered by many to be the greatest Globetrotter of all time.
His No. 22 jersey has been retired by the Globetrotters. He passed away in March 2020.
Lou ‘Sweet Lou’ Hudson: Dudley High
Lou Hudson is yet another star to come out of Dudley High School.
A six-time NBA All-Star, Hudson starred for the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks during the early 1970s.
He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Below is an excerpt from the Basketball Hall of Fame:
“To say that Lou Hudson was just a brilliant offensive weapon, or just a natural scorer, would be to diminish the skill and grace that set him apart from his contemporaries. ‘Sweet Lou’ could funnel in points from all over the floor, but no shot was more beautiful to watch than his effortless 15-foot jumper. Hudson perfected the shot to become one of the most lethal and efficient scorers of his era.”
He died in April 2014.
Danny Manning: Page High
Danny Manning is an NCAA Champion, two-time NBA All-Star, and NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Manning also starred at Page High School in Greensboro where he won a state title as a junior.
Manning also was the head coach of Wake Forest from 2014-2020.
Charlie Sanders: Dudley High
Charlie Sanders is a member of the Pro Football of Fame, NFL 1970s All-Decade Team member, Pride of the Lions and the Detroit Lions All-Time Team.
He also starred at Dudley High School where he was a three-sport-star.
He starred with Lou Hudson at Dudley.
Torry Holt: Eastern Guilford High
Torry Holt is a Super Bowl champion, seven-time Pro Bowl selection, two-time receiving yards leader, and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Holt’s No. 81 jersey is also retired at NC State University where he starred for four seasons.
Holt was one of the most dynamic players of the 2000s and played a significant role in the St. Louis Rams and their “Greatest Show on Turf” offense that powered them to a Super Bowl victory.
Holt is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
He finished his NFL career with 13,382 yards receiving. Many experts believe he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well.
Keenan Allen: Northern Guilford High
Keenan Allen is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and has accumulated nearly 10,000 yards receiving in his NFL career.
Born and raised in Greensboro, Allen was a transcendent superstar for the Nighthawks before committing to the University of California and going to become a star for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.
Allen played safety in high school and was a 5-star recruit, according to 247Sports. He was the number-one-ranked player in North Carolina as well.
Hendon Hooker: Dudley High
Hendon Hooker is one of the greatest players in the history of the University of Tennessee football.
Before that, he starred at Dudley as a two-sport star for three seasons.
He is Dudley’s all-time leader in passing yardage and won two state championships during his time.
Hooker won SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 and is likely to be selected early in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jeff Bostic: Smith High
Jeff Bostic is a three-time Super Bowl champion, a Pro Bowler, one of the 80 Greatest Redskins of all time, and a member of the Washington Commanders Ring of Fame.
Before racking up those accolades, Smith attended Smith High School before going on to star at Clemson University and the NFL.
Bostic was a stabilizing force in the middle of the offensive line for Joe Gibbs’ legendary teams of the 80s.
His brother Joe Bostic also attended Smith and had a nine-year career with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals.
Bostic is also a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bostic’s legacy is entrenched in NFL history as a key cog in “The Hogs,” one of the greatest offensive lines in the history of football.
John Isner: Page High
Josh Isner is one of the greatest if not the greatest server in the history of professional tennis.
Before that though, the 6’10” right-hander led Page High School to a state championship in tennis in 2001.
Isner now holds the record for most aces in the history of the ATP Tour as well as the fastest serve.
Adrian Wilson: Andrews High
Adrian Wilson is a five-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time All-Pro, and a member of the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor.
Wilson is also one of the rising front-office executives in the NFL.
Before that, Wilson starred at Andrews High School before going to NC State University and the NFL.
Wilson recently returned to the Tarheel State and is now working for the Carolina Panthers.
David Amerson: Dudley High
David Amerson is one of the greatest players in the history of NC State Football and had a successful five-year NFL career as well.
Before that, he starred at Dudley High School.
Amerson set an ACC record for interceptions in a season with 13 in his sophomore year at NC State.
Amerson was childhood friends with Keenan Allen.
Haywood Jeffires: Page High
Haywood Jeffires is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, one-time All-Pro, and NFL receptions leader.
Before that, he was born and raised in Greensboro and played football for Page High School.
He then took his talents to NC State before spending the prime of his NFL career with the Houston Oilers after being taken with the 20th overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft.
Fred Whitfield: SE Guilford High
Fred Whitfield is the COO and president of the Charlotte Hornets and right-hand man of Charlotte Hornets governor Michael Jordan.
Before that, he was born in Greensboro and starred for the Falcons basketball team.
“It provided me literally every opportunity that I’ve had in my life,” Whitfield said of his time at Southeast Guilford.
Ben McAdoo: Smith High
Ben McAdoo is an NBA champion, Basketball Hall of Famer and five-time NBA All-Star.
Before that, he was born in Greensboro and starred for the Smith basketball team.
McAdoo has also won multiple championships in international basketball play and won three championships as an assistant coach with the Miami Heat.
- Terrence Holt: Eastern Guilford High
- Brother of Torry Holt played five seasons in the NFL
- Eric Ebron: Smith High
- Star tight end at UNC, number 10 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft
- Vince Evans: Smith High
- Won the Rose Bowl as USC’s quarterback, 14-year NFL career
- Ethan ‘The Red Snapper” Albright: Grimsley High
- Pro Bowl NFL long snapper, now the athletic director at Grimsley
- Zach Maynard: Grimsley High
- Brother of Keenan Allen, played quarterback for Cal
- D.J. Reader: Grimsley High
- Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman, played in Super Bowl LVI
- Aaron Wiggins: Grimsley High
- Guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder
- Heather Bergsma: High Point Central High
- Gold medalist speed skater
- Germaine Pratt: High Pont Central High
- Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, played in Super Bowl LVI
- Tony Shaver: High Point Central High
- Played for Dean Smith at UNC, 584 career wins as a head coach in college
- Tom Alston: Dudley High
- St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, first African-American player in team history
- Joey Cheek: Dudley High
- Olympic gold medalist speed skater
- Jeff Davis: Dudley High
- Won national championship in 1982 with Clemson, College Football Hall of Famer
- P.J. Hairston: Dudley High
- Starred at UNC for three seasons, Charlotte Hornets first round draft pick
- Will Graves: Dudley High
- Won a national championship with UNC in 2008, overseas basketball star
- Brendan Haywood: Dudley High
- 4-year star at UNC, 14-year NBA veteran center
- Emmanuel Moseley: Dudley High
- San Francisco 49ers cornerback
- Mitch Atkins: Northeast Guilford High
- High Point Rockers pitcher
- Jaylin Davis: Northeast Guilford High
- New York Mets outfielder
- Elissa Cunane: Northern Guilford High
- Selected in the 2022 WNBA Draft
- T.J. Logan: Northern Guilford High
- UNC running back, won Super Bowl LV with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Scott Houston: Northwest Guilford High
- Champion pole vaulter
- Rusty LaRue: Northwest Guilford High
- Won a championship with Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1998, coached West Forsyth HS
- Mark Dixon: Ragsdale High
- Canadian Football League champion, jersey retired by University of Virginia
- Siri Mullinix: Ragsdale High
- 2-time National champion in soccer with UNC
- Larry Ogunjobi: Ragsdale High
- Defensive linemen with the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Kasey Redfern: Ragsdale High
- NFL punter
- Cody and Carson Ware: Ragsdale High
- Professional racers
- Eugene Godsoe: Southeast Guilford High
- PAC-10 Swimmer of the Year
- Jake Smith: Southern Guilford High
- Johnny Bench award-winning baseball player at ECU
- Cheyenne Parker: Southwest Guilford High
- Starred at HPU, selected with 5th pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft
- Eddie Pope: Southwest Guilford High
- USMNT soccer player, starred at UNC
- Clyde Simms: Southwest Guilford High
- USMNT soccer player
- Brian Williams: Southwest Guilford
- NC State cornerback, nine-year NFL career
- Ted Brown: Andrews High
- College Football Hall of Fame running back, No. 23 jersey retired by NC State
- Marcus Gilchrist: Andrews High
- NFL safety, played nine years in the league
- William Hayes: Andrews High
- 10-year NFL defensive end, attended Winston-Salem State
- Jeremy Harris: Page High
- Professional basketball player, led Page to the 2014 state tournament
- Paris Kea: Page High
- Starred at UNC from 2016-19, was selected in WNBA Draft, now a member of the Wake Forest basketball staff
- Stan Lane: Page High
- A professional wrestler who was trained by Ric Flair
- Javon Leake: Page High
- Starred at the University of Maryland as a running back and kick returner, CFL champion
- Lee Rouson: Page High
- Two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants in the 80s
- Lisa Stockton: Western Guilford High
- Longtime women’s college basketball coach with over 600 career wins
- DeMario Pressley: Dudley High
- NC State defensive tackle, won Super Bowl XLIV as a member of New Orleans Saints
- Tony Baker: Andrews High
- ECU running back, drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and played in the World League of American Football
- Toney Baker: Ragsdale High
- Running back, son of Tony Baker, inducted into Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame with his father
- Greg Jeffries: Andrews High
- Played safety in the NFL for 7 years, starred at Virginia