When the Sonics left town, people that didn’t live around the Emerald City predicted the loss of our basketball passion. However, instead of losing our passion for basketball, Seattle’s hoops pride has only increased, with epic articles like this one from Sports Illustrated telling the nation we’re still here.
In honor of the H206 Charity basketball game taking place in a couple of days, I decided to make a list of the top five all-time NBA players that grew up and played high school basketball in the state of Washington.
No. 5 Jamal Crawford
Crawford is one of the many elite basketball players from Rainier Beach High School. After high school, Crawford played one year at the University of Michigan before being drafted in 2000 by the Cleveland Cavaliers (then traded immediately to Chicago). His career began rather slow, averaging well under 10 points a game during his first three seasons.
After being traded to the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and eventually to the Atlanta Hawks, Crawford’s play went to another level. His point per game average is consistently around 14 to 20 points per game and he recently won the 2010 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
See the top four after the jump.
No. 4 Jason Terry
One of the quickest players and best three point shooters in the NBA, this Franklin High alum is still representing Seattle after 12 years in the NBA. Terry recently made some news after a) shooting the lights out during the 2011 NBA playoffs and b) trash talking Lebron James and then backing it up.
After winning the 1997 NCAA championship game with the University of Arizona, JET got drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 10th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. He stayed with the Hawks and emerged as Atlanta’s best player until he switched teams to play for the Dallas Mavericks, where he won the 2009 NBA sixth man of the year and has averaged 16.2 PPG.
Terry has the number “206” tattooed on his chest.
No. 3 James Edwards
Edwards, a Roosevelt and UW graduate, is lesser known among Seattleites with him playing from 1977 to 1996. Despite this fact, he is more than deserving of the No. 3 spot on this list.
A 19-year NBA veteran, Edwards played on eight NBA teams averaging 12.7 PPG, bringing in 6,004 career rebounds, and winning three NBA championships. Actually, in his final year of play James won the 1996 championship with the Chicago Bulls, facing none other than his hometown team, the Seattle Supersonics.
No. 2 Brandon Roy
After graduating from Garfield and being considered one of the state’s best players, Roy decided to stay near home and attend UW after considering the NBA right out of high school.
During his senior year, Roy averaged 20.2 points per game while leading the Huskies to a 26–7 season and a second straight Sweet Sixteen appearance. Roy was named Pac-10 player of the year and received All-American honors at the end of the season, while also being a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith, Oscar Robertson, and Adolph Rupp awards.
Roy was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 6th overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft. He immediately became a force with the Blazers, averaging nearly 17 points in his first season, earning him Rookie of the Year honors.
No. 1 John Stockton
The NBA legend grew up in Spokane, went to High School at Gonzaga Prep, and appropriately attended Gonzaga University all four years, averaging 20.9 points per game while shooting 57% from the field his senior year.
After his senior year, Stockton entered the 1984 NBA draft and was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 16th overall pick.
The rest is history.
Stockton became a 10-time NBA All-Star, was part ofthe best pick-and-roll combination ever with Karl Malone, is the NBA career leader in assists, is part of the NBA’s 50th anniversary team and is third in all-time games played (1,504). For me, the greatest thing about Stockton is the loyalty he showed the Jazz by remaining on the team his entire career despite never having won an NBA championship (blame Michael Jordan).
Just missed the cut: Nate Robinson, Doug Christie.