Before Metta World Peace there was Ron Artest and long before Ron Artest was the Ron Artest you think of, one of QB’s finest was one of the top high school players in the nation, known for his game and not his name.
Back in 1997, his game landed him in the McDonalds All-American game with his AAU running mates Elton Brand and Lamar Odom. He also participated in the high school dunk contest against Melvin Ely, future NBA teammate Marcus Fizer, Dion Glover, Luke Recker, Ryan Humphrey, Kenny Gregory (the most impressive in the contest) and Baron Davis. Despite a few posters here and there, Artest has never been known for taking flight, but the future Chicago Bulls’ draft pick tried to channel the GOAT Bull in Chicago when he attempted a free throw line dunk. He took a big step inside the line on his attempts but made it. And the best part about the dunk was his post dunk “celebration” that showed signs of a celebration many NBA players, James Harden in particular, ended up seeing over a decade later.
If you don’t remember some of those posters I mentioned earlier. Here’s a young Ron Artest in Chicago.
1997 MCDONALDS GAME