The Five Days of List-Mas: NBA Players from Ohio

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
11:51
AM ET
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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 Ohio.

Terry Rozier, Tony Farmer and Kenny Kaminski are all standout basketball recruits who are headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Ohio has a long history of sending top high school players to the NBA. But who’s been the best? Here’s our list of the five best players from the Buckeye State to play in the NBA.
5. Michael Redd
Credentials: Redd was one of the league’s most dangerous shooters in his prime. The Columbus West grad and former 2000 first-round pick has battled myriad injuries in recent years but can still get it done when healthy. The Bucks guard was selected to the 2004 All-Star game.

4. Nate Thurmond
Credentials: The Akron Central Hower grad was the third overall pick in 1963 by Golden State and went on to play 14 seasons in the NBA. He scored more than 14,437 career points and averaged 15 rebounds a game during his Hall of Fame career.

3. Jerry Lucas
Credentials: The Middletown grad won a national title at OSU before earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1963-64. He won gold with the '64 U.S. Olympic team and an NBA crown in 1973. Lucas made seven All-Star teams and played for Cincinnati, San Francisco and New York during his Hall of Fame career. He was named one of the NBA's Top 50 Players.

2. John Havlicek
Credentials: A former prep star at Bridgeport, Havlicek went on to win a national title at OSU with Lucas before becoming the seventh overall pick in the 1962 draft. The 13-time All-Star was part of eight championship teams with the Celtics and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He scored more than 26,000 career points and was named one of the NBA's Top 50 Players in 1997.

1. LeBron James
Credentials: The Saint Vincent-St. Mary grad could go down as the greatest prep player ever. James went straight from SVSM to the top pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, and he is regarded as the best player in the league today. The former Rookie of the Year with Cleveland is a two-time league MVP and a seven-time All-Star.

Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.
• ESPN.com NFL editor
• Previously covered recruiting for ESPNHS
• Graduate of Northeastern University

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