HS Basketball Prodigy What Could Have Beens

Chin Diesel

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The NBA/College Offense thread had Marcus Liberty's name brought up.

Chicago HS legend and Top 3 player in class of '87. Some had him #1. Two years at Illinois and a mid-round draft pick who never made a dent in his NBA career.

Who are some other high school legends who didn't have a clean college career of greatness and then moved on to a good NBA career or better?
 
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Not sure exactly what you're asking but Ben Wilson from Chicago was the #1 recruit in the country and was gunned down his senior year of high school. He's considered a legend in Chicago and ESPN made a great 30 for 30 about him called Benji.

Chicago has had a lot of tragic bball figures, Ronnie Fields played with Garnett in Chicago and people came to watch Fields, he had some terrible automobile accidents which robbed him of the NBA. We all know about Derrick Rose. Those are just a few of the Chicago guys who never had the careers they should have, so many others all over the country.
 
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The NBA/College Offense thread had Marcus Liberty's name brought up.

Chicago HS legend and Top 3 player in class of '87. Some had him #1. Two years at Illinois and a mid-round draft pick who never made a dent in his NBA career.

Who are some other high school legends who didn't have a clean college career of greatness and then moved on to a good NBA career or better?
Ok Chin..I'll throw a name at you.. Connie Hawkins.. When the Hawk was a Hawk
 
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Chin Diesel

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Not sure exactly what you're asking but Ben Wilson from Chicago was the #1 recruit in the country and was gunned down his senior year of high school. He's considered a legend in Chicago and ESPN made a great 30 for 30 about him called Benji.

Chicago has had a lot of tragic bball figures, Ronnie Fields played with Garnett in Chicago and people came to watch Fields, he had some terrible automobile accidents which robbed him of the NBA. We all know about Derrick Rose. Those are just a few of the Chicago guys who never had the careers they should have, so many others all over the country.

Ben would be a good example although I was thinking more of players who had a chance and just never made it.

Another example around the Liberty timeframe was guy named Kenny Williams. Class of '88 top-10 forward. Didn't have grades so he went to community college, got drafted by the Pacers and flamed out.
 
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??? Connie Hawkins wasn't exactly a flameout.

I mean he is in the Hall of Fame.
Never was able to play a game in college due to gambling allegations.. Banned from NBA until age 26..Was a 26 yr old rookie..

Thought you were looking for eventual NBA success stories after high school legacies.. Not allowed to play in NCAA or NBA(until age 26) .. Did not interpret your wording/challenge as NBA flameouts. .My Bad..

"Moved on to a good NBA career or better".. Didn't see flameouts mentioned in your initial post
 
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JakeTheDog

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O.J. Mayo. Dude was a sensation in high school and had one good year at USC. I don’t think he ever did anything in the league though.
 
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Mayo was a slightly above average NBA starter for a bunch of years. 15/3/3 kind of guy. Never lived up to the hype though. He was also old as hell; despite playing one year at USC he was 21 years old as a rookie.

Sebastian Telfair is another one. Hung around for a bit but was a whatever pro.
 
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Raymond Lewis from LA. Jerry Tarkanian says he's the greatest player he ever saw and some other legends say he's the best scorer they ever saw. He played just 1 season at Cal State Los Angelas which was D1 back then where he averaged 33 ppg and scored 73 in a game. He dominated everyone in summer league and training camps but was blackballed by the NBA. He scored 60 points in the first half with #1 pick Doug Collins guarding him in the 76ers training camp, he scored 56 points in three quarters with Michael Cooper guarding him in summer league.
 
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Prob doesn’t fit this, but if we’re talking “what-if’s” I have always wondered what would have happened if TMac & Yao could have had a healthy career together
 
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First few that come to mind.

Ronnie Fields who went to Farragut in Chicago.
Earl Manigault - The Goat.
Jack Ryan

There's a lot of streetball players that never made it and should have.
 

MTHusky

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Bill Spivey who led Kentucky to the 1951 NCAA Tournament Championship and was voted Most Outstanding Player of the event. Later he was accused of being a part of a point-shaving scheme and was banned from the NBA. Although later when the charges were dropped the ban continued. He played in the EBL with a number of teams including the Ansonia CT. Norwood AC team. Saw him face off against Wilt and more than held his own. In another game which he was being mugged every time he touched the ball, he finally had enough and knocked 2 players out by throwing only 2 punches.
 

Chin Diesel

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Never was able to play a game in college due to gambling allegations.. Banned from NBA until age 26..Was a 26 yr old rookie..

Thought you were looking for eventual NBA success stories after high school legacies.. Not allowed to play in NCAA or NBA(until age 26) .. Did not interpret your wording/challenge as NBA flameouts. .My Bad..

"Moved on to a good NBA career or better".. Didn't see flameouts mentioned in your initial post

Fair enough. I don't think I worded my OP as well as I should have worded it.

Was looking for players who went from HS stars, to odd college or no college, and somehow made it to the NBA but never shined.

the Hawk definitely had a good career or better.
 

Chin Diesel

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Lenny Cooke has to be near the top of any list. Dujuan Wagner, maybe, though he probably wouldn't have had an okay career if he didn't have non-basketball health problems.

Didn't they end up finding out Cooke was like 20 years while he was in HS? Was he the kid LeBron stomped as a soph or junior and ended Lenny's chances?
 
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Bill Spivey who led Kentucky to the 1951 NCAA Tournament Championship and was voted Most Outstanding Player of the event. Later he was accused of being a part of a point-shaving scheme and was banned from the NBA. Although later when the charges were dropped the ban continued. He played in the EBL with a number of teams including the Ansonia CT. Norwood AC team. Saw him face off against Wilt and more than held his own. In another game which he was being mugged every time he touched the ball, he finally had enough and knocked 2 players out by throwing only 2 punches.
Wow, think I may of heard the name before but knew nothing about him. Just read up on him. He was totally screwed over, sounds like he would've been an all-time great NBA big man.
 

Chin Diesel

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Raymond Lewis from LA. Jerry Tarkanian says he's the greatest player he ever saw and some other legends say he's the best scorer they ever saw. He played just 1 season at Cal State Los Angelas which was D1 back then where he averaged 33 ppg and scored 73 in a game. He dominated everyone in summer league and training camps but was blackballed by the NBA. He scored 60 points in the first half with #1 pick Doug Collins guarding him in the 76ers training camp, he scored 56 points in three quarters with Michael Cooper guarding him in summer league.

I'm looking for another player that I think had some Tarkanian/UNLV ties but I can't find his name. Everything I try to pull up tells me the name Sean Higgins but I don't think it was Higgins.

Anyway sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. Wing player, very good. I think he was supposed to sign with UNLV but either had grades or $$$$ issues and played overseas for a year or two and then made it to the NBA. I had the Spurs in my head as to what team he played with but I can't figure it out.
 

Chin Diesel

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I'm looking for another player that I think had some Tarkanian/UNLV ties but I can't find his name. Everything I try to pull up tells me the name Sean Higgins but I don't think it was Higgins.

Anyway sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. Wing player, very good. I think he was supposed to sign with UNLV but either had grades or $$$$ issues and played overseas for a year or two and then made it to the NBA. I had the Spurs in my head as to what team he played with but I can't figure it out.

Figured out who I was thinking of. Lloyd Daniels.
 

ColchVEGAS

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Didn't they end up finding out Cooke was like 20 years while he was in HS? Was he the kid LeBron stomped as a soph or junior and ended Lenny's chances?

James was discovered when he stole the ball from Lenny Cooke at the end of a game at the ABCD camp to win the game for his team. Everybody was there to watch Cooke. James was two years younger. Cooke was still dominant at the camp and there after.

Cooke's career was ended when he was given poor advice from his handlers.

Another gem from that class was Roosevelt Lee from New Britain. Never amounted to much outside of still being a fantastic player in the Pro-Am to this day.
 

ColchVEGAS

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But yes Cooke turned 19 and was ruled ineligible for his high school team his senior year.
 
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Chin Diesel

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There was a Sean HIggins who was on Michigan when the won the title over Seton Hall and he played for the Spurs.

Yeah. I saw Higgins and checked his profile but I knew it wasn't who I was thinking of.

Truth be told Higgins is borderline for this thread.

He was part of that Fairfax High pipeline.
 

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