The biggest kids usually end up on a block and the smaller kids wind up being developed into point guards and off guards. A good portion of your basketball career is defined by what your momma gave you.
But what if mom gave you the size of a big and the moves of a guard? What if you were, I dunno, the complete package?
That’s what I was looking for when I picked my forwards. Allow me to tell you about it.
Sean Elliot, Arizona, 1985-89
- Home: Tucson, Arizona. Cholla HS
- Stats: 19ppg, 6rpg, 3apg
- Best Year: 22ppg, 7rpg, 4apg
- Brag Sheet: 1988 and 1989 Pac-10 POY, 1989 Wooden Award Winner, 3rd pick in 1989 NBA Draft
- You always hear about how keeping local talent is imperative to a program’s success and it is. Never has it meant more to a program than Sean Elliott staying in Tucson to play for Lute Olson. The greatest prep player ever out of Tucson is arguably the greatest player ever to come out of the UofA. Oh, and he’s also the first major athlete to ever return to action following a kidney transplant. He literally could do it all: score, defend, board, and outlast his own career trajectory. Gamer.
Ed O’Bannon, UCLA, 1991-95
- Home: Los Angeles, California. Artesia HS
- Stats: 16ppg, 7rpg, 2apg
- Best Year: 20ppg, 8rpg, 3apg
- Brag Sheet: 1995 Pac-10 POY, 1995 Wooden Award Winner, 1995 NCAA Champion, 9th pick in the 1995 NBA Draft
- When you play for the most storied program in college basketball history where there are ten championship banners hanging from the rafters of your home gym and when it’s been twenty years since the last banner was hung you need a hero. Enter: Ed O’Bannon. But the long forward not only took on the ghosts of Bruins past in earning his national title, he’s also come to battle the NCAA. He filed a lawsuit claiming the governing body everyone loves to pick apart has been wrongfully profiting off the images of the players they “educate” even beyond their graduation into non-amateur status. Dude’s got a point. Trial is pending.
Chris Mills, Arizona, Arizona, 1990-93
- Home: Los Angeles, California. Fairfax HS
- Stats: 17ppg, 8rpg, 2apg
- Best Year: 20ppg, 8rpg, 2apg
- Brag Sheet: 1993 Pac-10 POY, 22nd Pick in the 1993 NBA Draft
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, California, 1995-96
- Home: Murrietta, Georgia. Joseph Walker HS
- Stats: 21ppg, 8rpg, 1apg
- Best Year: only played one
- Brag Sheet: 1996 Pac-10 POY, 3rd Pick in the 1996 NBA Draft
- So here you have the only one and done on Team PacHoops and subsequently the first ever freshman POY in conference history. And did you know he also managed to maintain a 3.5 GPA at Cal? I coulda told you he was smart for moving from Georgia to the Bay Area but to put up those kinda number in the classroom just seals the deal. And now, in his current role as the Sacramento Kings assistant GM, I choose to believe he’s always the dissenting opinion on all player personnel decisions. My man.