Best Basketball Player Ever From Every State
Basketball players come from all over America: cold states, warm states and everything in between.
Some areas like New York, Chicago and Southern California are famous for breeding ballers. The best of the best graduate to the NBA and WNBA. Others play overseas.
But before they were pros, basketball greats had to put in work to perfect their craft. Here's where — and how — stars, generational talents and legends were born.
Alabama: Charles Barkley
Born: Feb. 20, 1963, in Leeds, Ala.
High school: Leeds High School
College: Auburn University
Pros: Philadelphia 76ers (1984-1992), Phoenix Suns (1992-96), Houston Rockets (1996-2000)
Before Charles Barkley became "The Round Mound of Rebound," he was a stocky, 5-foot-10, 220-pound high schooler who failed to make his varsity squad as a junior. However, during the summer, Barkley shot up to 6-foot-4 and made the varsity team, leading them to a 26-3 record and the state semifinals in his senior year.
He graduated to Auburn, where he holds the school record for field goal percentage (62.6 percent), and went on to become one of the best rebounders in NBA history.
Alaska: Mario Chalmers
Born: May 19, 1986, in Anchorage, Alaska
High School: Bartlett High School (Anchorage)
College: University of Kansas
Pros: Miami Heat (2008-15), Memphis Grizzlies (2015-16)
Mario Chalmers always has been a winner. He was named the 4A State Player of the Year three consecutive times in high school, in addition to leading his school to back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003.
He moved on to Kansas and was a major contributor to a national championship in 2008.
In the NBA, Chalmers helped the Heat win back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 with clutch play and big-time three-point shooting.
Arizona: Sean Elliott
Born: Feb. 2, 1968, in Tucson, Ariz.
High School: Cholla High School
College: University of Arizona
Pros: San Antonio Spurs (1989-93, 1994-2001), Detroit Pistons (1993-94)
Sean Elliott made a name for himself prior to becoming a two-time NBA All-Star and world champion with the San Antonio Spurs.
Elliott was a consensus All-American in his junior season at the University of Arizona and led his team to the Final Four. He finished his college career as the leading scorer in Arizona history.
Then, the small forward helped the Spurs win the franchise’s first NBA championship in 1999.
Arkansas: Scottie Pippen
Born: Sept. 25, 1965, in Hamburg, Ark.
High School: Hamburg High School
College: Central Arkansas
Pros: Chicago Bulls (1987-98, 2003-04), Houston Rockets (1998-99), Portland Trail Blazers (1999-2003)
Scottie Pippen wasn't always the best supporting player helping Michael Jordan capture the world’s imagination with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.
In high school, Pippen was the man, leading his team to the state playoffs as an all-conference star his senior year.
He walked on to Central Arkansas as a 6-foot-1 guard, then sprouted to 6-foot-8 and became a lethal weapon.
He was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics, traded to the Bulls, and the rest is history.
California: Diana Taurasi
Born: June 11, 1982, in Glendale, Calif.
High School: Don Antonio Lugo High School (Chino, Calif.)
College: University of Connecticut
Pros: Phoenix Mercury (2004-present)
One of the greatest WNBA players of all time, Diana Taurasi was destined to be a superstar.
In 2000, she was a recipient of the Cheryl Miller Award that goes to the best player in Southern California, the Naismith and Parade High National High School Player of the Year. She finished her high school career ranked fourth in points scored in state history with 3,047.
Her success followed her in college as she led the University of Connecticut to three consecutive national titles.
Success at the WNBA level followed as she helped lead the Phoenix Mercury to their first WNBA title over the defending champion, Detroit Shock in 2007. Taurasi won her second championship in 2009 against the Indiana Fever, while earning WNBA MVP honors in the process. In 2014, Taurasi earned MVP honors again while helping the Mercury set a single-season wins record with 29 and win another championship.
Colorado: Chauncey Billups
Born: Sept. 25, 1976, in Denver, Colo.
High School: George Washington High School
College: University of Colorado
Pros: Boston Celtics (1997-98), Toronto Raptors (1997-98), Denver Nuggets (1998-2000, 2008-11), Minnesota Timberwolves (2000-02), Detroit Pistons (2002-08, 2013-2014), New York Knicks (2011), Los Angeles Clippers (2011-13)
Chauncey Billups became "Mr. Big Shot" long before he became one of the best clutch performers in the NBA. Billups was an All-State first team pick four times in high school and was the Colorado Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior.
At the University of Colorado, Billups helped end a 28-year NCAA tournament drought in the 1996-97 campaign, upsetting the Indiana Hoosiers before losing to North Carolina.
In the NBA, Billups is most known for his first stint with the Detroit Pistons and helping the franchise win the NBA title in 2004.
Connecticut: Marcus Camby
Born: March 22, 1974, in Hartford, Conn.
High School: Conard (West Hartford, Conn.), Hartford Public
College: University of Massachusetts
Pros: Toronto Raptors (1996-98), New York Knicks (1998-2002, 2012-13), Denver Nuggets (2002-08), Los Angeles Clippers (2008-10), Portland Trail Blazers (2010-12), Houston Rockets (2012)
Marcus Camby was more than an elite shot blocker and defensive force at Hartford Public High School. In his senior season, he averaged 27 points, 11 rebounds, 8 blocks and 8 assists — leading his team to a 27-0 record and state title.
At UMass, Camby won the Naismith College Player of the Year award and the John R. Wooden award in the 1995-96 season. He is the all-time UMass leader in blocks (336) and was only the fourth college player ever to reject 300-plus shot.
In the NBA, he continued to have a defensive impact as he ranks 12th on the all-time blocks list and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.
Delaware: Elena Delle Donne
Born: Sept. 5, 1989, in Wilmington, Del.
High School: Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Del.)
Pros: Chicago Sky (2013-16), Washington Mystics (2017-present)
An elite high school player, Elena Delle Donne led Ursuline to three consecutive Delaware state championship titles. She was the No. 1-ranked recruit and a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school. Delle Donne received a scholarship to play for UConn, but dropped out of the summer school program because she wanted to be close to family.
She then transferred to the University of Delaware, where she played volleyball as a walk-on in 2008. Then she announced she would play basketball for the Blue Hens in 2009, leading the nation in scoring in her junior season in 2012.
In the WNBA, Delle Donne has become a productive star, helping the Washington Mystics advance to their first-ever WNBA Finals in 2018.
Florida: David Robinson
Born: Aug. 6, 1965, in Key West, Fla.
High School: Osbourn Park High School (Manassas, Va.)
Pros: San Antonio Spurs (1989-2003)
Before David Robinson earned his nickname "The Admiral" for his military service, he attended Osbourn Park High School in Virginia, where he earned all-district honors despite never before playing organized basketball.
In Robinson’s final two years at Navy, he earned the Naismith and Wooden awards, as well as becoming an All-American.
In the NBA, Robinson made his mark immediately, helping the team turn around a dismal record of 21-61 to 56-26. He went on to win an MVP in 1995 and was named one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players of All Time in 1996. Robinson hurt his back in 1997 in the preseason, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise as the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan, the key to the elusive championship for Robinson.
Georgia: Walt Frazier
Born: March 29, 1945, in Atlanta, Ga.
High School: David Tobias Howard High School
College: Southern Illinois University
Pros: New York Knicks (1967-77), Cleveland Cavaliers (1977-80)
Walt Frazier took the road less traveled to stardom. After high school, he did not attend an elite basketball program, but instead became one of the premier college basketball players in Division II for Southern Illinois University. He was a Division II All-American in 1964 and 1965.
After college, he was drafted fifth overall in the NBA draft by the New York Knicks and led the franchise to its only two championships in 1970 and 1973.
Hawaii: Cedric Ceballos
Born: Aug. 2, 1969, in Maui, Hawaii
High School: Dominguez High School (Compton, Calif.)
College: Ventura (1986-88), Cal State Fullerton (1988-90)
Pros: Phoenix Suns (1990-94, 1997-98), Los Angeles Lakers (1994-97), Dallas Mavericks (1998-2000), Detroit Pistons (2000), Miami Heat (2000-01), Las Vegas Slam (2002), Harlem Globetrotters (2002), Hapoel Tel Aviv (2002), Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody (2002-03), Sioux Falls Skyforce (2003), San Miguel Beermen (2003-04), Los Angeles Stars (2004-05), Orange County/Maywood Buzz (2005-07, 2008-11), Phoenix Flame (2007)
Cedric Ceballos didn't always light up scoreboards. He was a late bloomer who didn't even start for his high school team until a player went down with an injury. Then Ceballos went the junior college route and played at Ventura College, before catching the attention of NBA scouts at Cal State Fullerton.
The Phoenix Suns selected Ceballos in the second round of the 1990 NBA draft with the 48th overall pick. He won the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest with a blindfolded dunk, led the league in field goal percentage (57.6) in 1993 and helped them reach the NBA Finals. Ceballos led the Lakers in scoring in 1995 and was an All-Star.
After bouncing around the NBA, his basketball career took him overseas to Israel and the Philippines.
Idaho: Luke Ridnour
Born: Feb. 13, 1981, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
High School: Blaine High School (Blaine, Wash.)
College: University of Oregon
Pros: Seattle SuperSonics (2003-08), Milwaukee Bucks (2008-10, 2013-14), Minnesota Timberwolves (2010-13), Charlotte Bobcats (2014), Orlando Magic (2014-15)
Before Luke Ridnour became a solid NBA player, he was an All-American (McDonald’s and Parade) in 2000, his senior year in high school.
Ridnour became a star at Oregon, helping lead the Ducks to an Elite Eight appearance in 2002 and another NCAA tournament appearance.
Then, he went onto the NBA, where he played on five different teams and averaged double digits in scoring six times.
Illinois: Dwyane Wade
Born: Jan. 17, 1982, in Chicago, Ill.
High School: Harold L. Richards High School
College: Marquette University
Pros: Miami Heat (2003-16, 2018-present), Chicago Bulls (2016-17), Cleveland Cavaliers (2017-18)
The Miami Heat's all-time leading scorer has had game for a while. Dwyane Wade averaged 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds during his junior year of high school, and in his senior year, he led his team to a 24-5 record.
Soon after, Wade led Marquette in scoring on multiple occasions and helped them reach the Final Four in his junior season.
Now, with three NBA championships under his belt, a scoring title, a Finals MVP and many other accolades, Wade is one of the greatest shooting guards in the history of the game.
Indiana: Larry Bird
Born: December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Ind.
High School: Springs Valley High School (French Lick, Ind.)
College: Indiana State
Pros: Boston Celtics (1979-92)
Long before Larry Bird became an NBA Hall of Famer, he was "The Hick From French Lick" — a basketball prodigy from Indiana who set the all-time scoring record at Springs Valley High School, averaging 31 points, 21 rebounds and four assists his senior year.
He turned down a scholarship from Bobby Knight to play at Indiana University because he thought the campus in Bloomington was too big, so he went to Indiana State, averaged 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, and helped Indiana State reach the NCAA tournament for the first time with a 33-0 record in 1979. The Sycamores lost the championship game to Magic Johnson and Michigan State, but the final was the beginning of a new era in hoops.
After getting to the NBA, he became one of the best players and best shooters in league history with the Boston Celtics and forever changed the game.
Iowa: Harrison Barnes
Born: May 30, 1992, in Ames, Iowa
High School: Ames High School
College: North Carolina
Pros: Golden State Warriors (2012-16), Dallas Mavericks (2016-present)
Harrison Barnes was born to ball. He first tasted glory at Ames High School, leading the school to an Iowa 4A State championship in his junior and senior years.
In college at North Carolina, he scored 40 points as a freshman in the ACC tournament, the most by any freshman in the tournament. Soon after his sophomore year, he declared for the NBA draft, going seventh to the Warriors in 2012.
He helped Golden State win a title in 2015 and became a solid contributor for the Dallas Mavericks after the 2016 season.
Kansas: Lionel Hollins
Born: Oct. 19, 1953, in Arkansas City, Kan.
High School: Rancho High School (North Las Vegas, Nev.)
College: Dixie State (1971-73), Arizona State (1973-75)
Pros: Portland Trail Blazers (1975-80), Philadelphia 76ers (1980-82), San Diego Clippers (1982-83), Detroit Pistons (1983-84), Houston Rockets (1984-85)
Lionel Hollins is a basketball lifer. After graduating from high school in Nevada, he played two seasons at Dixie State College (in St. George, Utah) and two years at Arizona State before going pro.
He earned All-Rookie first-team honors in 1975 and was a key component of the Portland Trail Blazers’ lone championship in 1977. Hollins was an All-Star the next season and an All-Defensive team member in 1978 and 1979.
Following his 10-year playing career, Hollins wore a coaching suit for over 30 years.
Kentucky: Dave Cowens
Born: Oct. 25, 1948, in Newport, Ky.
High School: Newport Catholic High School
College: Florida State
Pros: Boston Celtics (1970-80), Milwaukee Bucks (1982-83)
Dave Cowens starred at Florida State, averaging 19 points and 17.2 rebounds per game in his collegiate career. When he got to the NBA, some thought the 6-foot-9 player was too small to play center, but he proved the doubters wrong, averaging 17 points and 15 rebounds per game in his rookie campaign.
His best year was in 1973, as he averaged 20.5 points and 16.2 rebounds per game, helping lead the Celtics to a league-best 68-14 record. He won the All-Star and regular-season MVPs.
He finished his 11-year career with two rings and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Louisiana: Bill Russell
Born: Feb. 12, 1934, in Monroe, La.
High School: McClymonds High School (Oakland, Calif.)
College: University of San Francisco
Pros: Boston Celtics (1956-69)
Bill Russell was an 11-time NBA champion in a 13-year Hall of Fame career.
But before he was the engine of a Celtics dynasty, he became a star center at the University of San Francisco, helping the school become a superpower in college basketball.
Russell overcame racial taunts in college and then in the NBA, where he was the centerpiece of one of the greatest dynasties the Association has ever seen.
Maine: Cindy Blodgett
Born: Dec. 23, 1975, in Clinton, Maine
High School: Lawrence High School (Fairfield, Maine)
Pros: Cleveland Rockers (1998), Sacramento Monarchs (1999-2001)
Cindy Blodgett starred at Lawrence High School, leading the school to an 84-4 record in the four years she was there.
At the University of Maine, she became the second woman in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring in four consecutive years and is one of only 13 women college basketball players who surpassed the 3,000-point mark in their collegiate careers.
In the WNBA, she spent one season with the Cleveland Rockers before being traded to the Sacramento Monarchs and playing three more seasons.
Maryland: Sam Cassell
Born: Nov. 18, 1969, in Baltimore, Md.
High School: Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Baltimore)
College: San Jacinto (1989-91), Florida State (1991-93)
Pros: Houston Rockets (1993-96), Phoenix Suns (1996), Dallas Mavericks (1996-97), New Jersey Nets (1997-99), Milwaukee Bucks (1999-2003), Minnesota Timberwolves (2003-05), Los Angeles Clippers (2005-08), Boston Celtics (2008-09)
Sam Cassell wasn't the biggest player in basketball history, but he had big game.
In his senior season at Florida State, he averaged 18.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds and led the ACC in steals. After helping the Seminoles advance to the Elite Eight in the 1993 NCAA tournament — where they lost to the Kentucky — he was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the first round with the 24th overall pick.
He helped the Rockets win back-to-back championships in his first two season and was part of the Celtic' title team in 2008, his final NBA season. Along the way of his 15-year career, Cassell played on eight different teams and was a solid contributor, averaging over 17 points with four different clubs (Nets, Bucks, Timberwolves and Clippers) and finishing his career with 15.7 points per game, 6.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
Massachusetts: Bill Laimbeer
Born: May 19, 1957, in Boston, Mass.
High School: Palos Verdes High School (Palos Verdes, Calif.)
College: Notre Dame
Pros: Cleveland Cavaliers (1980-82), Detroit Pistons (1982-93)
Bill Laimbeer was born in Boston, raised in Chicago and went to high school in Southern California. After graduating from Notre Dame, he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1979, played played professionally in Italy for a year, then returned to play for the Cavaliers.
He was traded to the Pistons, where he teamed up with Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars to win back-to-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990 while becoming one of the most unpopular players in NBA history as the enforcer leader of the "Bad Boys."
Even villains can redeem themselves. Since 2002, Laimbeer has been coaching in the WNBA.
Michigan: Magic Johnson
Born: August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan
High School: Everett High School (Lansing, Michigan)
College: Michigan State
Pros: Los Angeles Lakers (1979-1991, 1996)
Magic Johnson was destined for greatness. He helped his high school and Michigan State win championships. In his sophomore season at Michigan State, Johnson led the Spartans past Larry Bird Indiana State in a legendary NCAA national championship game.
Soon after, he went to the NBA and continued his rivalry with Bird and the Celtics — sparking a basketball renaissance. Magic helped turn the Lakers team into "Showtime" and led Los Angeles to five NBA championships in nine seasons, including back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988, on his way to becoming the greatest showman the game has ever seen.
Minnesota: Kevin McHale
Born: Dec. 19, 1957, in Hibbing, Minn.
High School: Hibbing High School
College: University of Minnesota
Pros: Boston Celtics (1980-93)
Kevin McHale became a legend early. He starred at Hibbing High School, leading his team to the AA Minnesota State Championship game as a senior.
Then, he had a decorated University of Minnesota career, ranking second in school history with 1,704 points and 950 rebounds.
In the NBA, McHale helped the Celtics become champions in 1981, 1984 and 1986 as a sixth man, and he was also a seven-time All-Star.
Mississippi: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
Born: March 9, 1969, in Gulfport, Miss.
High School: Gulfport High School
Pros: Denver Nuggets (1990-96), Sacramento Kings (1996-98), Fenerbahce (1998-99), Vancouver Grizzlies (2000-01), Ural Great (2003-04), Sedima Roseto (2004-05), Aris BC (2006-07), Al-Ittihad (2007-08), Kyoto Hannaryz (2009-11)
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was a basketball prodigy at Gulfport High School, averaging 29.9 points and 5.7 assists in his senior season and getting an invitation to the McDonald’s All-American game.
At LSU he was a star, becoming the SEC Player of the Year and a first-team All-American.
In the NBA, he became one of the best shooters in the league, leading the league in free-throw percentage twice and winning Most Improved Player in 1993.
Missouri: Maya Moore
Born: June 11, 1989, in Jefferson City, Mo.
High School: Collins Hill High School (Suwanee, Ga.)
College: University of Connecticut
Pros: Minnesota Lynx (2011-present)
Maya Moore got an early start on winning — and stardom. She was an All-American as a freshman and sophomore in high school and led her team o four consecutive state championship appearances.
Then, she helped lead UConn to a couple of NCAA championships in 2009 and 2010.
In the WNBA, she helped the Lynx win a WNBA championship in her rookie campaign in 2011 and added three more titles after that in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Montana: Adam Morrison
Born: July 19, 1984, in Glendive, Mont.
High School: Mead High School (Spokane, Wash.)
Pros: Charlotte Bobcats (2006-09), Los Angeles Lakers (2009-10), Red Star Belgrade (2011), Besiktas (2012)
Adam Morrison became a star as a high school player in Spokane, despite an early diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. He led Mead to the title game, scoring 37 points with hypoglycemia.
Morrison started to make an impact on Gonzaga in his sophomore year when he averaged 19 points per game. In his junior year, he led the nation in scoring at 28.1 points per game and helped Gonzaga get a berth in the NCAA tournament, making it to the Sweet 16 before succumbing to UCLA.
After that, he declared for the NBA draft and was selected third overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. He played well in his rookie season, but a torn ACL in his sophomore season derailed any hopes of him becoming the player he once was.
Nebraska: Jordan Hooper
Born: Feb. 20, 1992, in Alliance, Neb.
High School: Alliance High School
Pros: Tulsa Shock/Dallas Wings (2014-16), Besiktas (2014-15), South East Queensland Stars (2015-16), Connecticut Sun (2017), Atlanta Dream (2017), Chicago Sky (2017)
Jordan Hooper was a member of the Tulsa Shock for the 2014 season and has bounced around in her WNBA career.
Before that, she helped lead Alliance High School to a state title as a freshman in 2007.
Then, at Nebraska, she helped the Cornhuskers reach the NCAA tournament.
Hooper last played for the Atlanta Dream and the Chicago Sky in 2017.
Nevada: Ricky Davis
Born: Sept. 23, 1979, in Las Vegas, Nev.
High School: Davenport North High School (Davenport, Iowa)
College: University of Iowa
Pros: Charlotte Hornets (1998-2000), Miami Heat (2000-01, 2007-08), Cleveland Cavaliers (2001-03), Boston Celtics (2003-06), Minnesota Timberwolves (2006-07), Los Angeles Clippers (2008-10), Turk Telekom (2010), Jiangsu Dragons (2010), Chorale Roanne (2011), Maine Red Claws (2011-12), Piratas de Quebradillas (2012), Erie BayHawks (2013-14)
Ricky Davis helped Davenport North to the state tournament, but did not reach the championship game.
In the NBA, Davis bounced around in his career, but had his most productive seasons in Boston, where he averaged 19.7 points per game in 2005 and 19.1 points per game in 2006.
New Hampshire: Matt Bonner
Born: April 5, 1980, in Concord, N.H.
High School: Concord High School
Pros: Pallacanestro Messina (2003-04), Toronto Raptors (2004-06), San Antonio Spurs (2006-16)
Matt Bonner helped Concord High School to three state championships. He then played for Florida and was a first-team All-SEC selection in his senior year and an honorable mention for an All-American.
In the NBA, Bonner played for the Toronto Raptors for a couple of years until he got traded to the Spurs in 2006. He helped the Spurs win a title that year and was re-signed. His shooting proficiency made him one of the more dangerous shooters in the league, leading the league in three-point percentage (45.7) in 2010-2011.
New Jersey: Shaquille O'Neal
Born: March 6, 1972, in Newark, N.J.
High School: Robert G. Cole High School (San Antonio, Texas)
Pros: Orlando Magic (1992-96), Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2004), Miami Heat (2004-08), Phoenix Suns (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11)
Shaquille O’Neal is the definition of dominance. He led his high school to a 68-1 record over two years and helped them win a state championship in his senior season.
Shaq then found great success at LSU, becoming a two-time All-American and SEC Player of the Year.
In the NBA, Shaq continued his dominance, first with the Orlando Magic and then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Alongside Kobe Bryant, Shaq helped the Lakers three-peat from 2000-2002.
After tensions between Shaq and Kobe arose, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004 and won his final title in 2006 with Dwyane Wade.
New Mexico: Andre Roberson
Born: Dec. 4, 1991, in Las Cruces, N.M.
High School: Wagner High School (San Antonio, Texas)
Pros: Oklahoma City Thunder (2013-present)
Andre Roberson is one of the best perimeter on-ball defenders in the NBA today. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard/small forward honed his skills at the University of Colorado, finishing third in rebounding in the 2011-2012 season and second in 2012-2013. He was first-team All-Pac-12 and the conference Defensive Player of the Year during his junior season. This path has helped Roberson become an elite defensive player.
New York: Michael Jordan
Born: Feb. 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
High School: Emsley A. Laney High School (Wilmington, N.C.)
College: North Carolina
Pros: Chicago Bulls (1984-93, 1995-98), Washington Wizards (2001-03)
Before Michael Jordan became the greatest basketball player to walk the earth, he played at Emsley A. Laney High School in North Carolina. But as a sophomore, trying out for the varsity team, he was deemed too small at only 5-foot-11. He grew four inches in the summer and averaged 20 points per game over his final two years in high school. As a senior, he averaged a triple-double with 29.2 points, 11.6 rebounds and 10.1 assists, and made the McDonald’s All-American team.
In college at North Carolina, Jordan made the game-winner in the 1982 NCAA championship game against Georgetown, which featured future NBA great Patrick Ewing.
In the NBA, Jordan had some rough years, overcoming injuries and first-round playoff exits, and playing the Detroit "Bad Boy" Pistons in the late 1980s and 1990. However, once Jordan and the Bulls got past the Pistons, they went on to three-peat on two separate occasions, and Jordan cemented his legacy as the GOAT.
North Carolina: Chris Paul
Born: May 6, 1985, in Winston-Salem, N.C.
High School: West Forsyth High School (Clemmons, N.C.)
College: Wake Forest
Pros: New Orleans Hornets (2005-11), Los Angeles Clippers (2011-17), Houston Rockets (2017-present)
Chris Paul starred in high school, averaging 25 points, 5.3 assists and 4.4 steals in his junior year.
Paul then helped Wake Forest get into the NCAA tournament a couple of times, eventually falling to West Virginia in his sophomore season. He finished his two-year college career with averages of 15.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game for Wake Forest.
In the NBA, he made a name for himself by becoming an elite floor general, with a steady midrange jump shot and toughness on defense for his 6-foot, 175-pound size.
North Dakota: Tyler Johnson
Born: May 7, 1992, in Grand Forks, N.D.
High School: Saint Francis (Mountain View, Calif.)
College: Fresno State
Pros: Sioux Falls Skyforce (2014-15), Miami Heat (2015-present)
Before Tyler Johnson developed his all-around game at Fresno State, averaging 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals. He was named to the All-Mountain West Conference second team in his senior year in 2014.
Johnson went undrafted, but it did not deter him as he joined the Miami Heat for summer league. He signed a couple of 10-day contracts and helped the Heat in the scoring and shooting departments, and now is a solid NBA contributor, averaging 11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Ohio: LeBron James
Born: Dec. 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio
High School: St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (Akron, Ohio)
Pros: Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-10, 2014-18), Miami Heat (2010-14), Los Angeles Lakers (2018-present)
LeBron James learned how to be under the spotlight — and shine — early in life. He was a player to watch in middle school and became a prodigy at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron, Ohio. His unique blend of power and speed raised eyebrows, and he was drafted No. 1 overall to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the NBA, he lived up to the hype, being one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. However, multiple playoff failures made him choose to leave Cleveland to go to Miami to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, a move that was heavily criticized. James won two titles in Miami, and then in 2014, he left Miami to come back to Cleveland to fulfill a promise of winning a championship, which he did in 2016 by leading a comeback down 3-1 against the 73-win Warriors.
His story still unfolding. Even though he is in his 16th NBA season, the 33-year-old is playing at an MVP level and has said he wants to keep playing until his son, who is in the eighth grade now, is in the league. That would mean LeBron plays another five or six years.
Oklahoma: Mark Price
Born: Feb. 15, 1964, in Bartlesville, Okla.
High School: Enid High School (Enid, Okla.)
College: Georgia Tech
Pros: Cleveland Cavaliers (1986-95), Washington Bullets (1995-96), Golden State Warriors (1996-97), Orlando Magic (1997-98)
Mark Price was more than a shooter. He was a two-time All-American and four-time All-ACC basketball player at Georgia Tech, helping the Yellow Jackets win an ACC championship in his junior season.
In the NBA, he helped lead the Cleveland Cavaliers become an Eastern Conference power with his shooting touch. From 1988 to 1999, Price became the second player after Larry Bird to reach the 50-40-90 club with 50 percent shooting from the field, 40 percent from the three-point line and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
Oregon: Danny Ainge
Born: March 17, 1959, in Eugene, Ore.
High School: North Eugene High School (Eugene, Ore.)
Pros: Boston Celtics (1981-89), Sacramento Kings (1989-90), Portland Trail Blazers (1990-92), Phoenix Suns (1992-95)
Danny Ainge starred at North Eugene High School in football, basketball and baseball. He helped lead his school to back-to-back basketball titles and is the only person to be a high school first team All-American in football, basketball, and baseball.
Ainge was so good at baseball he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977 and made it to the major leagues in 1979 as an infielder (second baseman) and outfielder while in college at BYU. But basketball was his true love, and he became a household name by hitting a game-winning buzzer-beater against Notre Dame in the 1981 NCAA tournment.
The Boston Celtics drafted Ainge in the second round (31st overall) in 1981 draft, and he played 15 seasons in the NBA, developing a reputation as a hard-nosed, physical , fearless player. He got into tussles with multiple players, including Michael Jordan, and was a key component to the Celtics championships in 1984 and 1986.
Pennsylvania: Kobe Bryant
Born: August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pa.
High School: Lower Merion High School (Ardmore, Pa.)
Pros: Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2016)
Kobe Bryant developed his closing skills in his youth on the way to greatness. He helped his high school win its first championship in 53 years in his senior season. Bryant averaged 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4 steals and 3.8 blocks, while leading Lower Merion to a 31-3 record.
Bryant made the leap from high school to the NBA but success was not instant, and he did not become an elite guard until the 1998-99 season, when the Lakers were swept by the Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals. Bryant, along with center Shaquille O’Neal, led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. He would win two more titles in 2009 and 2010. In his last NBA game on April 13, 2016, Bryant scored 60 points.
Rhode Island: Ernie DiGregorio
Born: Jan. 15, 1951, in North Providence, R.I.
High School: North Providence High School
Pros: Buffalo Braves (1973-77), Los Angeles Lakers (1977-78), Boston Celtics (1978)
Ernie DiGregorio was a phenomenal passer before he made the NBA. In his senior year at Providence, DiGregorio helped the Friars reach the Final Four, where they lost to Memphis State.
DiGregorio only played six seasons in the NBA, but he left a lasting impression. He led the league in free-throw shooting and assists during the 1976-77 season. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1974 and NBA All-Rookie First Team that same year. DiGregorio also had a game in which he dished out 25 assists during his rookie campaign.
South Carolina: Kevin Garnett
Born: May 19, 1976, in Greenville, S.C.
High School: Mauldin High School (Mauldin, S.C.)/Farragut Academy (Chicago, Ill.)
Pros: Minnesota Timberwolves (1995-07, 2015-16), Boston Celtics (2007-13), Brooklyn Nets (2013-15)
Kevin Garnett was one of the fiercest competitors in basketball. His tenacity made him one of the best defenders in the game's history.
The seeds of intensity were planted in South Carolina, where he was named National High School Player of the Year after his junior season at Mauldin. He transferred to Farragut Academy in Chicago for his senior season, led his team to a 28-2 record and was so good he was named National Player of the Year again after averaging 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists.
Garnett made the leap from high school to the pros, and became a star with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2007, he was traded to the Boston Celtics, and that next year, Garnett was an integral piece to Boston’s championship run in 2008.
He finished his 21-year NBA career in 2015 as a 15-time All-Star.
South Dakota: Mike Miller
Born: February 19, 1980, in Mitchell, S.D.
High School: Mitchell High School
Pros: Orlando Magic (2000-03), Memphis Grizzlies (2003-08, 2013-14), Minnesota Timberwolves (2008-09), Washington Wizards (2009-10), Miami Heat (2010-13), Cleveland Cavaliers (2014-15), Denver Nuggets (2015-17)
Mike Miller may have grown up in a small town, but he was big time. As a sophomore, Miller led the Florida Gators to the 2000 NCAA championship game, only to lose to Michigan State.
In the NBA, Miller became a proficient three-point sniper with a career average of 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. Miller helped contribute to the Miami Heat winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 before calling it a 17-year career in 2017.
Tennessee: Oscar Robertson
Born: Nov. 24, 1938, in Charlotte, Tenn.
High School: Crispus Attucks High School (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Pros: Cincinnati Royals (1960-70), Milwaukee Bucks (1970-74)
Oscar Robertson was one of the best players during his era in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prior to that, Robertson starred at Crispus Attucks High School, leading his school to a 31-1 record and winning the 1955 state championship. The school won a back-to-back title, with a 31-0 record in Robertson’s senior season.
Then, Robertson starred at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to two NCAA Final Four appearances and a 79-9 record when he was there.
In the NBA, Robertson was a special player, starting in his rookie year, averaging 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.7 assists. In 1961-1962, Robertson became the first player in league history to average a triple-double for a season, with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists. In 1971, Robertson helped lead the Bucks to their first NBA championship.
Texas: Sheryl Swoopes
Born: March 25, 1971, in Brownfield, Texas
High School: Brownfield High School
College: South Plains (1989-91), Texas Tech (1991-93)
Pros: Houston Comets (1997-2007), Seattle Storm (2008), Tulsa Shock (2011)
Sheryl Swoopes is a Texas legend. Before she became one of best players in WNBA history, she helped the Texas Tech Lady Raiders to an NCAA women’s basketball championship in her senior year.
In the WNBA, Swoopes was the second player to win the MVP and All-Star game MVP in the same season. She also was a three-time MVP, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and four-time WNBA champion.
Utah: Byron Scott
Born: March 28, 1961, in Ogden, Utah
High School: Morningside High School (Inglewood, Calif.)
College: Arizona State
Pros: Los Angeles Lakers (1983-93, 1996-97), Indiana Pacers (1993-95), Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Panathinaikos (1997-98)
Byron Scott helped the Lakers win three championships as a player. Before that, Scott played three years of college basketball at Arizona State.
Then, he went pro, becoming a key component to the Lakers' "Showtime" championships. Starting alongside Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and A.C. Green. Scott led the Lakers in scoring at 21.7 points per game during the 1987-88 season, and helped them win a title that same year, one of his three NBA championships.
He finished his 14-year NBA career averaging 14.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Vermont: Nicole Levesque
Born: April 11, 1972, in Shaftsbury, Vt.
High School: Mount Anthony High School (Bennington, Vt.)
College: Wake Forest
Pros: Charlotte Sting (1997)
Nicole Levesque was named one of the 50 Greatest Sports Figures from Vermont. She was the only Vermonter to play in the WNBA.
But before the WNBA, Levesque helped her high school win two Division I state titles.
At Wake Forest, she was a two-time All-ACC Second-Team selection, the school leader in minutes, free throws made and free-throw percentage, while being second all-time in assists.
Levesque played with the Charlotte Sting in the WNBA, averaging 4.0 points and 2.8 assists in 27 games.
Virginia: Allen Iverson
Born: June 7, 1975, in Hampton, Va.
High School: Bethel High School (Hampton, Va.)
Pros: Philadelphia 76ers (1996-2006, 2009-10), Denver Nuggets (2006-08), Detroit Pistons (2008-09), Memphis Grizzlies (2009), Besiktas (2010-11)
Allen Iverson is one of the greatest pound-for-pound players in NBA history. Before he left his mark on the NBA, he starred at Bethel High School, where he led both the football and basketball programs to state championships.
In college at Georgetown, he led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 in his freshman year, and in his sophomore and final season, he led the team to a Big East Championship and an Elite Eight appearance.
In the NBA, Iverson became known for his quickness and tough drives to the basket, where he would take a lot of contact. No game would be more famous than Iverson’s 48-point outburst in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals against the Lakers, stealing the game, but eventually succumbing to them in five games.
He never won a ring, but he was inducted into in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and remains one of the most popular players in NBA history.
Washington: John Stockton
Born: March 26, 1962, in Spokane, Wash.
High School: Gonzaga Prep High School (Spokane, Wash.)
Pros: Utah Jazz (1984-2003)
John Stockton is one of the best passers in basketball history, but he also could score. In high school, he broke a city record for points scored in one game.
In college, Stockton starred at Gonzaga, leading the Bulldogs to their best record in 17 years at 17-11 during his senior season.
In the NBA, Stockton averaged a double-double of 13.1 points and 10.5 assists. He is the all-time leader in assists with 15,806. Stockton is a 10-time all-star, six-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team, nine-time NBA assists leader and two-time NBA steals leader, among many other accolades.
Washington, D.C.: Elgin Baylor
Born: September 16, 1934 in Washington, D.C.
High School: Phelps Vocational School, Spingarn High School (Washington, D.C.)
College: College of Idaho (1954-55), Seattle (1956-58)
Pros: Minneapolis Lakers (1958-60), Los Angeles Lakers (1960-72)
Before Elgin Baylor became one of the greatest players in NBA history, he starred at Spingarn High School and was named first team All-Met. He had 63 points in a game against his old high school, Phelps. He finished his senior year as first-team All-Met and was the area's best basketball player in 1954.
Baylor continued his success at Seattle, leading his team to the 1958 NCAA tournament title game, eventually falling to the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Minneapolis Lakers then selected Baylor as the No. 1 pick in the draft. As a Laker, he was a 10-time All-NBA First Team and 11-time All-Star selection.
West Virginia: Jerry West
Born: May 28, 1938, in Chelyan, W.Va.
High School: East Bank High School (East Bank, W.Va.)
College: West Virginia
Pros: Los Angeles Lakers (1960-74)
Prior to becoming "The Logo," Jerry West was a star at West Virginia, helping the Mountaineers grab a Final Four appearance in his junior season. West averaged 32 points per game during the tournament and led his team in scoring and rebounding each game. West Virginia lost to California in the championship game during the 1958-59 season.
In the NBA, West helped the Lakers improve their win total by 11 and the Lakers made the playoffs in his rookie campaign. West was the main go-to guy in crunch-time, called "Mr. Clutch" by Lakers announcer Chuck Hearn. He helped the Lakers win their first NBA title in Los Angeles in 1972.
Wisconsin: Terry Porter
Born: April 8, 1963, in Milwaukee, Wis.
High School: South Division High School (Milwaukee)
College: Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Pros: Portland Trail Blazers (1985-95), Minnesota Timberwolves (1995-98), Miami Heat (1998-99), San Antonio Spurs (1999-2002)
Before Terry Porter became a solid contributor in the NBA, he was playing at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. There, he was named an NAIA First-Team All-American as a junior and senior.
In the NBA, Porter went 24th overall to the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1985 draft and helped the team make it to the NBA Finals twice during his tenure. After that, he bounced around to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
He finished his 17-year career with averages of 12.2 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds.
Wyoming: Jaycee Carroll
Born: April 16, 1983, in Laramie, Wyo.
High School: Evanston High School (Evanston, Wyo.)
College: Utah State
Pros: Teramo Basket (2008-09), Gran Canaria (2009-11), Real Madrid (2011-present)
Jaycee Carroll has gone from local hero to international star in the EuroLeague and FIBA.
He starred at Evanston High School in Wyoming, averaging 27.4 points, 3.3 steals and 2.8 assists per game as a junior. As a senior, Carroll set the state record for points per game with 39.4.
In college at Utah State, Carroll improved his shot each year and eventually won the WAC Player of the Year award in 2008. After several NBA summer league stops, Carroll went to Real Madrid, where he helped them win the EuroLeague championship in 2014-2015 and in May 2018.