Sports Illustrated Focuses On Seattle

Here’s your surprising stat of the day: The Seattle area has produced 13 players currently in the NBA. That’s tied for fifth among metro areas, although Seattle ranks 15th in population. That’s one of the revelations in this week’s Sports Illustrated, which includes a feature story on a little-known secret: Seattle is a hotbed of basketball talent.

That list includes Brandon Roy and Martell Webster of the Blazers. It includes Oregon product Aaron Brooks and Washington products Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, and Jon Brockman. According to the story, in the past five years the Seattle area has produced eight first-round draft picks. That’s amazing.

Five years ago, Seattle-area high schools had Brockman; Terrence Williams, who went to Louisville and was a first-round draft pick; Micah Downs, who went to Kansas and then Gonzaga; Mitch Johnson, who went to Stanford; Marcus Williams, who went to Arizona; and Webster, who went straight to the NBA as the No. 6 pick in the draft. All in one year.

The key to all this talent, according to the story, is the development of a couple high-powered club programs in the area. Which I guess is the upside of AAU basketball. But the focus of the story is how the Seattle NBA players are supportive of young players. It’s a feel-good piece that makes the area look awfully good.

So just for fun, we’ll expand the boundaries outside of the Seattle area. Here’s the starting lineup for an All-Star team of NBA players who went to high school in Washington: John Stockton (Gonzaga Prep), Brandon Roy (Seattle Garfield), James Edwards (Seattle Rainier Beach), Detlef Schrempf (Centralia), Byron Beck (Ellensburg Kittitas).

The bench could include plenty of firepower in the backcourt: Jason Terry (Seattle Franklin), Michael Dickerson (Seattle Franklin), and Aaron Brooks (Seattle Franklin). We’ll throw in Nate Robinson (Seattle Rainier Beach), in case a dunk contest breaks out in the middle of a game.

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