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The 6 Best NBA Players Born in North Carolina

The 6 Best NBA Players Born in North Carolina

The 6 Best NBA Players Born in North Carolina

North Carolina has two of the most storied basketball colleges in the world. And their rivalry is unmatched and is considered one of the most intense rivalries in all of US sports.  The rivalry between the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke University Blue Devils goes back over a century, with their first basketball game being played on January 24, 1920.

However, the state of North Carolina is not only known for its intense collegiate rivalry.  It is also a state that has bred  plethora of great NBA players.  Below,  we’re going to review the 6 best NBA players born in North Carolina.

James Worthy

Perhaps one of the best basketball players, James Worthy was born in Gastonia, North Carolina on February 27, 1961.   He was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, was a seven-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champion, and the 1988 NBA Finals MVP with the Los Angeles Lakers.

James Worthy led his high school, Ashbrook High, to the state championship game with 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game in his senior year.  He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in his junior year he was the leading scorer with 15.6 points per game as the Tar Heels won the championship.  In addition, he is just one of eight players to have their number retired by the Tar Heels.

Opting to forgo his senior year, Worthy was drafted first in the 1982 NBA draft to the Los Angeles Lakers,  where he would play for his entire career.  In addition to the accolades mentioned above, Worthy would score over 16,000 points, amass over 4,700 rebounds, and make over2,700 assists at his time in Los Angeles.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul, known as CP3, was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on May 6, 1985.  He was a McDonald’s All-American in high school and attended Wake Forest University before opting for the NBA draft.  Wake Forest University retired his jersey number on March 2, 2011.

Chris Paul was selected fourth overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets.  He finished his rookie year leading all rookies in points, assists, steals, and double doubles, being named NBA Rookie of the Year, falling just one vote shy of winning the award unanimously.

Chris Paul has had a storied NBA career.  He is an eleven-time NBA All-Star, the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2013, a 4-time All-NBA First Team, an All-NBA Third Team, a. 7-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, a 4-time NBA assists leader, and a 6-time NBA steals leader to name just a few.

David O’Neil Thompson

David O’Neil Thompson was born in Shelby, North Carolina on July 13, 1954.  He attended and played for the school’s Varsity Basketball team at Crest Senior High School.  After high school, Thompson attended North Carolina State, going undefeated their first year with a 27-0 record.

In his junior year he led NC State to the NCAA Championship Game.  Winning the game easily over Marquette.  Thompson’s nickname is Skywalker due to his incredible vertical leap, even being credited with inventing the alley-oop play.

Thompson was drafted by both the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA but eventually signed with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets.  After the ABA-NBA merger, Thompson continued to play for the Denver Nuggets.

He has a storied NBA career, averaging 22.7 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game.  He is just one of six players to score 70 or more points in an NBA game and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Michael Jordan once famously quipped that, “The whole meaning of a vertical leap began with avid Thompson.”  Bill Walton also described him as, “Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and LeBron James rolled into one.”

John Wall

John Wall was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 6, 1990.  Wall first played for Garner Magnet High School in Garner, North Carolina.  However, after his family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina he was cut from the basketball team due to attitude related issues.  He then transferred to Word of God Christian Academy where he worked on his attitude and other related issues.

Wall would go on to play for the University of Kentucky where he was inducted into the university’s hall of fame.  In 2010, Wall was selected first overall in the NBA draft by the Washington Wizards.  He would go on to be a 5-time NBA All-Star, an NBA All-Rookie First Team, and win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

Robert “Bob” McAdoo

Bob McAdoo was born in Greensboro,  North Carolina on September 25, 1951.  He would attend the University of North Carolina in his junior year as he did not immediately qualify to NCAA Division I schools due to his academic test scores.  He would lead the team to the 1972 Final Four.

Citing family hardship, McAdoo gained early entry into the 1972 NBA draft.   However, he ended up signing with the Buffalo Braves of the NBA.  In his second season, McAdoo averaged 30 points per game and 15 rebounds.  Although a “big man”, McAdoo had a sharp, precise shooting ability and did not shy away from shooting beyond the perimeter.

McAdoo also has a storied NBA career, being a 2-time NBA champion, the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1975, and a 5-time NBA All-Star.

Jerry Darnell Stackhouse

Jerry Stackhouse was born in Kinston, North Carolina on November 5, 1974.  He was the state player of the year in 1991-1992 in North Carolina and lead Kinston High School to the state finals.  In his senior year, he. Played. For Oak Hill Academy, leading them to an undefeated season.

Stackhouse attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel. Hill and led the team in scoring with 19.2 points per game.  He led the university to the Final Four and was named National Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

Stackhouse was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1995 NBA draft with the third pick.  He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Team and represented the 76ers in the 1996 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.  He is a 2-time NBA All-Star and played alongside 76ers great Allen Iverson, where the two averaged more than 44 points a game for the team.