Throwback: When Avery Bradley Was The Top Shooting Guard In High School
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I thought Avery Bradley was honoring Sleepy Floyd in Game 5. Exactly 30-years ago on this date, the underrated 6’3 Sleepy broke out of a shooting slump and dropped 51 points, including a playoff record 29 points in a single quarter, in a must-win against the Lakers. Bradley wasn’t that hot but he was hot enough to drop a playoff career-high 25 in the first half on 10 for 13 shooting in a must-win game against the Wizards. He finished the night with 29 points, 6 boards and 3 assists in just 30 minutes as the Celtics whooped the Wizards 123-101.
As surprising as this performance might be to some non-Celtics fans, if you flashback eight years ago to 2009, you will see that Bradley was considered by some to be the best basketball player in high school. Parade Mag named him National Player Of The Year, ESPN had him ranked #1 in his class over players like DeMarcus Cousins (#4), John Wall (#5) and Kawhi Leonard (#56). He also won MVP of the NSHI Rise ESPN championship after leading his Findlay team to a championship over #1 seeded Oak Hill Academy. After the game, Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said, “That’s the best guard I’ve ever coached against.”
Along with being known as a lockdown defender, the 6’2 shooting guard was also known for his poster-making hops back then. He even won the McDonalds All-American dunk contest in 2009, although Mason Plumlee and Derrick Favors weren’t exactly the best competition.
Bradley hasn’t had very many memorable dunks in the NBA but he did catch this former MVP a couple of years ago.