March Madness begins soon and thousands across the United States are preparing for a month of brackets and basketball. To kick off this fun season, here are five Mormon NBA stars who have left their mark on the game.
Born: November 22, 1928
Height: 6 feet 6 inches
Position: Power forward/Center
Mel Hutchins led Brigham Young University to a win at the 1951 NIT National Championships before starting his successful NBA career. He played as power forward and center for the Milwaukee Hawks, Fort Wayne Pistons, and New York Knicks. By the end of his career in 1958, he was a 4-time NBA All-Star and had 4,851 career points to his name.
Born: March 17, 1959
Height: 6 feet 4 inches
Position: Shooting guard
Danny Ainge is a 2-time NBA champion, NBA All-Star, and current coach for the Boston Celtics, one of his former teams. He also played for the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns and scored 11,964 points by the time he retired in 1995. A fun fact about Ainge is that he is the only person to be named as an All-American in the sports of football, basketball, and baseball.
Born: March 22, 1972
Height: 7 feet 6 inches
Shawn Bradley is one of the tallest basketball players in NBA history, with only Gheorghe Muresan and Manute Bol ahead of him by one inch. He began his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers, before playing for the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. He retired in 2005 with 6,752 points to his name.
Born: February 25, 1989
Height: 6 feet 2 inches
Position: Point guard/shooting guard
Jimmer Fredette’s college career at BYU is still one of the most impressive in recent memory. He broke Dany Ainge’s BYU scoring record, received multiple accolades, and was announced as the National Player of the Year in 2011. Fredette played in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and New York Knicks before signing with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He remains with the team today.
Born: March 15, 1995
Height: 6 feet 8 inches
Position: Power forward/small forward
Jabari Parker is an All-American, Rookie of the Year, and current player for the Milwaukee Bucks. Injuries have given his problems since he began his NBA career, with a torn ACL benching him for the 2016-2017 season. He made his debut back in the game in February 2018.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.