Five Days of List-Mas: NBA players from Indiana
December, 15, 2011
By Mike Grimala | ESPN.com
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Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!
Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of Indiana.
Yogi Ferrell, Ronnie Johnson and Gary Harris are all standout basketball recruits who are likely headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Indiana has sent its share of school players to the NBA. But who’s been the best? Here’s our list of the five best players from Indiana to play in the NBA.
5. Zach Randolph
Once regarded as a stick of dynamite just waiting to explode, Randolph has matured into one of the NBA's better big men. The 6-foot-9 power forward started his career at Marion, then played a year at Michigan State before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers. Z-Bo has posted five straight seasons of 20 points per game, and he's also recorded double-digit rebounds seven times. He was an NBA All-Star in 2009-10.
4. Eric Gordon
Gordon was a great high school player at North Central, even being featured on the cover of ESPNHS Magazine as a senior in 2006-07. He stayed home for college, playing one year at Indiana (20.9 points per game) before being drafted seventh overall by the Clippers in 2008. He's averaged at least 16 points per game in each of his three NBA seasons, including a career-high 22.3 last season. Gordon was recently traded to the New Orleans Hornets as the centerpiece in the Chris Paul deal.
3. Glenn Robinson
"The Big Dog" has to go down as one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history. He was unstoppable at Roosevelt High School in Gary, he was unstoppable at Purdue. and he was unstoppable during his peak in the NBA. Robinson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1994 draft, and he went on to average 20.7 points per game for his career.
2. Clyde Lovellette
A Hall of Famer, Lovellette started out at Garfield High School in Terre Haute. The 6-foot-9 forward played his college ball at Kansas before being drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1952. In 11 NBA seasons, Lovellette averaged 17.0 points and 9.5 rebounds, including five seasons of 20-10 production. A four-time All-Star and three-time NBA champions, Lovellette was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.
1. Larry Bird
Bird is always in the discussion for "Greatest Player of All-Time," as he excelled in every aspect of the game. Famously from French Lick, he played his high school ball at Springs Valley and took Indiana State to the NCAA title game in 1979. When he finally left the state, he led the Boston Celtics to three NBA championships, won three MVP awards and made 12 All-Star games. For his career, Bird averaged 24.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. And he's rightfully regarded as one of the best passing big men of all time, as the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 6.3 assists for his career. He also did this. And this. And this.
Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.