Can You Name These NBA Star Players Drafted Out of High School?


By: Todd Betzold

7 Min Quiz

Image: Patrik Giardino/Blend Images/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Can you imagine signing a multimillion-dollar contract with an NBA team at the age of 18? Not many of us can, but there have been a handful of players who have made the huge leap from high school right into the big leagues. Were they all slam dunks? Of course not, but we have seen some pretty stellar players come from this group of men.

I mean, Kobe Bryant was one of the first players to go from high school to the NBA, and we all watched as his career happened. This guy played all 20 of his NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and one NBA Most Valuable Player award. This from a guy who graduated high school and then went on to become the youngest player to ever play in the NBA (at that time, but his record has been broken since).

Kobe is just one of the star players on this quiz, but can you pick them all out? We are testing your NBA knowledge today, so will you be a slam dunk or are you going to be shooting air balls the whole time?

This player was the 5th pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He would go on to play 21 seasons in the NBA, but who is he?

Garnett was the first player drafted right out of high school in 20 years. He did not disappoint, as the awards followed him. He won the NBA Championship in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and was named NBA MVP in 2004. He ended his career with averages of 18 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists per game.


He was the first high schooler picked with the #1 selection in the NBA Draft, but also considered to be one of the biggest draft busts out there. Who is it?

During his run in the NBA, Kwame Brown played for seven different teams. He has an average of 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, which is far below the average for a #1 pick in the draft.


This was the last NBA player selected right out of high school in 2005 before the NBA changed the age requirements and implemented the "one-and-done" rule. Which player was it?

Amir Johnson was a second round selection by the Detroit Pistons in the 2005 NBA Draft. He only played in 11 games during his first two seasons. However, he is now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers and won the NBA Hustle Award during the 2018 NBA Awards.


Some consider him to be the greatest player of all time, he was the #1 pick in the 20013 NBA Draft. Who was it?

The battle is often between Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the greatest of all time. James definitely deserves it, as he has won three NBA Championships, three NBA Finals MVPs and four NBA MVPs. After leaving Cleveland for the second time in his career, he is now a Laker.


He was the first Indian-born player drafted in the NBA?

Singh was selected with the 52nd overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He only played in two Summer Leagues for the Mavericks. Satnam is currently a player for the St. John's Edge of the National Basketball League of Canada.


He won 2005 Texas Mr. Basketball and currently plays for the Toronto Raptors. Who is it?

Miles has had a slower transition into the NBA, as he played some D-League games for the Utah Jazz after they drafted him. He eventually caught his groove, as he is a big three-point threat, as he has made 1,200 in his career.


A lot of these players were drafted and then immediately traded, as this guy was in 2001. He was the #2 pick of the draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, who then traded him to the Chicago Bulls. Who is it?

Chandler is a current member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the starting center for the Dallas Mavericks and played a pivotal role in helping them win the NBA championship in 2011.


He was the 2000 California Gatorade Player of the Year, but never lived up to those expectations in the NBA. Who was it?

DeShawn was a star at Washington Union High School in California, as he averaged 30 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists during his senior season. He did end up playing 13 seasons in the NBA, but finished averaging 7 points, 2 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He did win an NBA championship as a member of the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.


This player was selected as the 18th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and would go on to help lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA Championship in 2016. Who is it?

J.R. Smith was selected by the New Orleans Hornets with the 18th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. That draft included eight high schoolers drafted to the pros. Of that 2004 draft class, Smith ranks seventh in career points scored.


From the 2003 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year to a 2017 felony marijuana possession charge, who is this player?

Outlaw was selected with the 23rd pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He would go on to only play in eight games his rookie season. He ended his career in 2014 with an average of 8 points and 3 rebounds per game.


This center is almost 7' tall, so the Charlotte Hornets took a chance on him late in the 2003 NBA Draft. Who was it?

Lang was picked in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft. He never played for the Hornets, as they waived him later that year. James went on to play off-and-on between the NBA and the NBA Developmental League, but only ever scored 11 points in 11 NBA games total.


This player was the 18th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He is the type of player who had a standout career, but never got a ring. Who is it?

Jermaine O'Neal never got his groove with Portland, as he was traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2000. This is when his career took off, as he was voted an All-Star six times, won Most Improved Player in the 2001-02 season and made the All-NBA team three times.


This player became the second player in more than a decade to make the jump from high school right into the NBA Draft, as the league introduced the "one-and-done" policy. Who is he?

Thon Maker had to fight to prove he graduated in 2015, but he won and was determined eligible for the NBA Draft in 2016. The Milwaukee Bucks selected him with the 10th pick and his average minutes per game have increased in Maker's second season.


The 2004 NBA Draft produced many outstanding high school players turned pros, including this NBA star for the Atlanta Hawks. Who is it?

Smith went on to win the Slam Dunk Contest during his rookie season in 2005. He also broke a few NBA records, as he was the youngest player to have 10 blocked shots in a game against the Mavericks. He was also the youngest player to get to 500 and then 1,000 blocks total in his career.


This Puerto Rican player had his rights traded among five teams during his time in the NBA, including the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2005 NBA Draft. Yet he never played in one NBA game. Who is it?

It was quite a ride for Ricky Sanchez, as he didn't play one game in the NBA, yet the rights to him as a player were owned by five different teams. He was drafted by the Trail Blazers, who then traded him that night along with Linas Kleiza for the Nuggets #22 pick Jarrett Jack. He was then shifted from Philadelphia, Memphis and then Miami in 2012 before they waived him.


Upon entering the NBA out of high school, this player was dubbed with the nickname "Baby Shaq." Who was it?

Eddy Curry was the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He is a current member of the Wolf Warriors of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). His current wife, Patrice Curry, stars on VH1's Basketball Wives LA.


The #1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, he may still be searching for a championship ring, but it does look like he's won every other award possible. Who is it?

Dwight Howard has been a dominant force in the NBA since joining the league in 2004. He is an eight-time NBA All-Star and eight-time All-NBA team member. He won NBA Defensive Player of the Year from 2009 to 2011. He has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Team six times and won the Slam Dunk contest in 2008.


This player was one of eight high school players drafted in the 2004 NBA Draft, however he never really made an impact with the Seattle SuperSonics or NBA. Who was it?

Swift is 7 feet, 1 inch tall and the SuperSonics had high hopes for him. However, he ended up playing in only 97 career games in the NBA and averaged 4 points and 4 rebounds. He was been waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009, and currently plays for the Spanish club Círculo Gijón Baloncesto y Conocimiento of the LEB Plata league.


He was the 18th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and went on to win the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Who is it?

Green is a current member of the Houston Rockets, which is his second stint with the team. He is known for his dunking skills, as he won the dunk contest in 2007 and was runner-up in 2008.


This player is often considered the "poster boy" for David Stern raising the minimum age for the draft.

Koreleone Young was drafted with the 40th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. At Hargrave Military College, he averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds. However, he ended up playing in only three NBA games and scored a total of 13 points.


He entered the 1996 NBA Draft saying he would only sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, yet the Charlotte Hornets drafted him. Who is it?

The Hornets did draft Kobe with the 13th pick, but then traded him to the Lakers. He spent all 20 seasons of his career with the Lakers, where he won five championships. He is often thought of as the greatest NBA player of all time.


This player was selected as the #4 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and has since gone on to win three NBA championships. Who is it?

Shaun Livingston was voted Mr. Illinois Basketball 2004. In 2007, he would suffer a huge knee injury, which would sideline him for a year and a half. He has come back to help the Golden State Warriors win three NBA championships.


He was the 9th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. The awards have kept coming for this man, but who is he?

Tracy McGrady never won a championship, but he still had plenty of awards to speak of in the NBA. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, won the scoring championship twice and won NBA Most Improved Player in 2001.


This player was the 10th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, where the center played most of his career. Who is it?

Despite injuries bothering him throughout his career, Bynum had a pretty stellar NBA career. He was named an All-Star and named to the All-NBA team in 2012. He was part of the 2009 and 2010 NBA championship teams for the Lakers.


He was the 19th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, but would not have a breakout season until 2010-11 with the Golden State Warriors. Who is the player?

Wright averaged 29 points and 11 rebounds in high school, but he did not make the move to the NBA very easily. It took some time, but he had a breakout season with the Warriors in 2010-11, as he was third in voting for NBA Most Improved Player that season.


This player was the 9th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He now owns a significant share of Hapoel Jerusalem, the team he won a championship with in 2017. This player is who?

Amar'e has had a lot of success in basketball, as he won Rookie of the Year in 2003 with the Suns. He went on to appear in six NBA All-Star Games and was named to the All-NBA team five times.


He was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and is the cousin of former NBA player Stephon Marbury. Who is it?

In high school, Telfair averaged 33 points and 9 assists. Over 10 seasons and eight teams in the NBA, he averaged 7.4 points and 3.5 assists.


He was the fifth pick in the 1975 NBA Draft and became known as "Dr. Dunk" around the league. This player is who?

Darryl Dawkins was given the nickname of "Chocolate Thunder" by Stevie Wonder. Dawkins was known for his powerful dunks, as he shattered the backboard twice in 1979. This led to the NBA breakaway rims.


He was the 2005 Jordan Classic MVP after scoring 26 points and 16 rebounds, which led to his second round selection by the Washington Wizards. Who is it?

Before his first NBA season, Blatche was shot in a carjacking and had to miss training camp. Maybe that slowed him down, but he never produced in the NBA and he last played for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).


This player was the 45th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. It took a while, but he finally found his groove in Toronto, where he has won two Sixth Man of the Year awards. Who is it?

Lou Williams spent nine seasons with the 76ers and Atlanta Hawks before being traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2014. This was the move he needed, as he has gone on to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2015 and 2018.


This NBA center was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2001 NBA Draft and even had a Kris Kross parody video made for him. Who are we talking about?

Diop played in 601 NBA games, but only averaged 2 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes per game. Two fans in Dallas made a Kris Kross parody video for Diop, as they turned the words from "Jump! Jump!" to "Diop! Diop!" DeSagana is currently a coaching assistant for the Utah Jazz.


He was a second round pick in the 1998 NBA Draft for the Seattle SuperSonics, where he helped make them a contender in the early 2000s. Who is it?

Rashard Lewis would go on to be an All-Star twice and he was part of the championship-winning Miami Heat team in 2013. He holds the record for most three-pointers made for the SuperSonics.


This forward was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2003, yet only played 19 games in the NBA. Who is it?

Ebi currently plays for the Boulazac Basket Dordogne of the LNB Pro A. He committed to play for the University of Arizona out of high school, but changed his mind and decided to declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft. He was drafted in the first round, but maybe he should have gone for more experience in college instead?


This player broke Michael Jordan's record in the McDonald's High School All American game, as he scored 31 points. It earned him a #5 pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, but injuries took him out of the league six years later. That player was?

J.B. was the fifth pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. While he played in 78 games that first season, he suffered a knee injury and ended up playing just 71 games over the next four seasons. Bender headed over to the New York Knicks and ended up playing 25 games for them before retiring in 2009.


He was the sixth pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and was known as "The Definition." Who is it?

Webster's mother disappeared in 1990 when Martell was 4 years old. It is thought that the "Green River Killer" is responsible for her death. Webster is cousins with NBA veteran Jason Terry.


LeBron James was the #1 pick in the NBA Draft the same year this guy was picked #27 by the Memphis Grizzlies before being traded to the Boston Celtics the same night.

Perkins may be remembered for Game 6 of the 2005 Eastern Conference playoffs, as Paul Pierce was ejected. Before being ejected, Pierce was fouled and owed two free throws. Indiana coach Rick Carlisle got to select someone to shoot them for Pierce, so he picked Perkins, who had not played in the game yet and he went on to miss both shots! The Celtics did win the game in overtime, though.


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