Massachusetts is a state that has a rich history in many things.

Massachusetts had a pivotal role in the formation of this country and landmarks throughout the state are visited by millions of people annually.

Massachusetts has a rich history in education as well. Not only were the nation's first public schools opened in Massachusetts, but some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country still call the Bay State home.

Last but certainly not least, Massachusetts is home to some of the most iconic professional sports franchises in the country. Between the legendary past of the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox, there is no guessing why Boston has earned the nickname "Titletown".

Given its vast history and both sports and education, it might not come as a surprise that some of the best high schools in the nation for athletes are right here in Massachusetts.

While there are many great education institutions for high school sports (read about the ten best here) there is a high school in Massachusetts that not only excels in athletics, but it has actually produced more professional athletes than any other school in the Bay State.

Cushing Academy Has Produced More Professional Athletes THan Any Other Massachusetts High School.

According to Stadium Talk, the private school located about 45 minutes north of Worcester has graduated more professional athletes than any other. The coeducational college-preparatory school for boarding and day students located in Ashburnham has approximately 400 students in grades 9–12 and a postgraduate year.

Cushing's success in producing pro athletes centers mostly around their renowned hockey program. While many talented young hockey players go the junior hockey route, Cushing is one of the few high schools in the U.S. with such an elite program. The prep school has put out over a dozen NHL players as well as a handful of Olympic medal-winning women's hockey players.

Cushing Academy has sent a handful of football players to the NFL, MLB, NBA, and even pro soccer as well.

However, one of the most famous alumni isn't an athlete in the big four of pro sports, but he is still one of the most famous athletes and actors in the world. Yup, we're talking about pro wrestler John Cena. The WWE superstar turned movie star played football at Cushing before graduating in 1995 and embarking on an entertainment career.

Notable Cushing Academy Professional Athlete Alumni:


  • Keith Yandle (2006-22) - Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Philidelphia Flyers
  • Conor Sheary (2014-Present) - Tampa Bay Lighting (currently) Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres
  • Tom Poti (1993-2013) - Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals
  • Meghan Duggan (2006-20) - Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts (both NWHL) Boston Blades (CWHL) 2018 Olympic Gold Medal, 2010, 2014 Olympic Silver Medal


  • Ray McLean (1940-47) - Chicago Bears
  • Kenny Gamble (1988-90) Kansis City Chiefs
  • Ollie Satenstein (1929-36) New York Giants

Soccer: Fernando Aristeguieta (2009-2023)

NBA: Phil Pressey (2013-22) Boston Celtiics, Phoenix Suns

MLB: Sean DePaula (1999-2002) Cleveland Indians

30 famous people you might not know were college athletes

Stacker dug deep to find 30 celebrities who were previously college athletes. There are musicians, politicians, actors, writers, and reality TV stars. For some, an athletic career was a real, promising possibility that ultimately faded away due to injury or an alternate calling. Others scrapped their way onto a team and simply played for fun and the love of the sport. Read on to find out if your favorite actor, singer, or politician once sported a university jersey.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli


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