Remembering When BJ Mullens Was The #1 Player In High School?
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Do you remember BJ Mullens? The 7’1 high school beast from Canal Winchester who could throw down between the legs dunks and once followed up a 46 points in 3 quarters performance with 62 points – 28 of 34 shooting while scoring 36 of the team’s 38 first half points – 21 rebounds and 3 blocks in a single game!
He also shot 71% from the field during his award-heavy senior year, was ranked #1 in his class by Rivals.com, and received some high praise from streetball legend Rafer Alston during the 2007 Elite 24 game at Rucker Park, where Mullens connected on 9 of 10 shots and scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half.
“That kid can play,” Alston told InsideHoops.com. “He’s special. He’s got a chance to play at the next level.”
How about at Ohio State University, a school he committed to in the 8th grade and where he set a freshman school record by shooting 64%?
You might know him as Byron, which is what he wanted the world to call him once he left Ohio State (despite only starting twice) after his freshman year and was drafted 24th by the Mavs in the 09 draft. But Dallas fans probably won’t remember him because the Mavs traded his draft rights to the Thunder. Thunder fans might not remember much about him and his 1.5 ppg average in 26 games over 2 seasons either. But Bobcats fans should!
It was in Charlotte where Byron threw down this memorable dunk of the night on LaMarcus Aldridge.
It was also in Charlotte where he became a NBA starter and started racking up 20 points games, double-doubles and career-highs. His best game came on April 6th of 2012, when he had a career best game of 31 points (14 of 23 shooting) and 14 boards vs the Bucks (the same team he had a Thunder career-high against).
The Cats fans will probably also remember him falling in low with the 3-point line. After that career-night, Mullens throwing up 3s became a common sight and he went 3 of 19 from downtown in the final 9 games of the (who really gives a damn) season.
Then in his second season with the Cats, he continued to put up career-best numbers but also stayed obsessed with shooting 3s: In the first 5 games of the season, he attempted an insane 34 shots from 3 and only made 10. After 20 games, he only shot above 50% from the field 3 times and this is a center once known for his field goal %. According to Upsidemotor.com, Mullens became the fourth player since 1970 to be over seven feet tall and shoot under 40 percent on 500 shot attempts. That season, he also became the first player 6’11 or taller to shoot 200 threes and under 32 percent.
After that season, he signed with the LA Clippers and after half a season of DNPs and donuts in limited minutes, they traded him to basketball hell…the 76ers. And after a few months in Philly, he took his talents to China, where he played 4 games with 1 team before signing with another and leaving before playing 1 game with them.
Mullens spent the 2015/16 season in the D-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and yes the 7’0 big man that once ruled high school basketball with his post play is still in love with the 3-point line.