Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley weren’t even 6 feet tall when they kicked off their respective high-school basketball careers. Anthony Davis started his as a 6-foot guard, and his team went 8-15 his junior season. Larry Bird was 6 feet, 1 inch tall as a high-school freshman. And they had to talk him into pursuing a basketball career. Young James Harden never averaged more than 20 points per game in high school. Victor Oladipo averaged just 11.9 points per game his senior year. All that is to say a lot can happen in high school. So are you worried you or your offspring might not have a future in the NBA? Perhaps this accounting of NBA stars past and present in their younger days will offer some encouragement.
The big man led Helix High School to consecutive California Interscholastic Federation titles and a 49-game winning streak. “I was a skinny, scrawny guy,” Walton recalled to ESPN. “I stuttered horrendously, couldn’t speak at all. I was a very shy, reserved player and a very shy, reserved person. I found a safe place in life in basketball.”