With our impressive high school, collegiate, and professional basketball acumen, it should come as no surprise that numerous NBA players have ties to the City of Roses. Featuring Hall of Fame greats, active players, and retired standouts, these numerous competitors proudly call Portland home. Here are the top 10 NBA players with roots in Portland:
A.C. Green never missed a day of class at Benson Polytechnic High School. His commitment to showing up would be reflected later in his career.
After graduating, Green stayed local, attending Oregon State University, where he finished second in school history in rebounding and fourth in scoring.
Fresh off their Finals victory, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Green in the first round with the 23rd pick of the 1985 draft. For six out of eight years, Green led the Lakers in rebounding, claiming back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1988. He was also voted a starter on the 1990 Western Conference All-Star Team.
Green would later play for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Miami Heat. He earned his third title returning to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1999-2000 season.
Green still holds the record for most consecutive games played, tallying 1,192 games from his first start to the last game of his career. He was inducted in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
A local student athlete, Terrence Jones led Jefferson High School to three straight Oregon Class 5A state championships. After committing to Kentucky, Jones helped the Wildcats advance to the 2011 Final Four, but lost by one point to the University of Connecticut. The next year, Kentucky won their eighth national championship.
He was one of six Wildcats to enter that year’s NBA draft, alongside Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, and Darius Miller.
At the professional level, for four years with the Houston Rockets, Jones had two healthy seasons, before injuries plagued the rest of his career. He currently competes for Leones de Ponce of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.
Current Orlando Magic starter Cole Anthony was born into the NBA. The son of Greg Anthony, Cole grew up in Portland, where his father competed for the Trail Blazers. Considered one of the top recruits in the 2019 class, Anthony committed to playing college basketball for North Carolina.
Anthony was later selected by the Orlando Magic with the 15th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft. Three years later, he signed a three-year, $39 million extension with the franchise.
In three seasons with Orlando, Anthony has averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds.
Scotty Pippin Jr.
Just like Cole Anthony’s City of Roses roots, Scotty Pippin Jr. was born locally while his father was competing with the Trail Blazers. As a high school athlete, Pippin Jr. transferred to Sierra Canyon, where Bronny James would eventually compete. Pippin Jr. helped his team win the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state title.
After graduating, he attended Vanderbilt, where he played three season, and earned 2x First-team All-SEC.
Last season, he competed for the Los Angeles Lakers; he is currently a free agent.
Mike Newlin was born and raised locally, developing his one-on-one skills early at a park not far from his home. After moving to Southern California, a high school coach got him connected with the coaching staff at the University of Utah.
In college, Newlin was the most valuable player in the Western Athletic Conference for three straight years. He became the then San Diego Rockets’ second draft choice in 1971. After several playoff runs, the Rockets made the Eastern Conference Finals in 1977, where the team fell to Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Over 11 years, Newlin also competed with the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks.
A competitor with Jefferson High School, Ime Udoka followed in fellow Portlandia Mike Newlin’s footsteps, competing in Utah. Later, he transferred back home to the Portland State University.
After a stint in Europe, Udoka tried out for his hometown Portland Trail Blazers, where he made the team. While with the Blazers, Udoka befriended then rookie LaMarcus Aldridge, and was pivotal in later recruiting the All-Star to the San Antonio Spurs.
Udoka bounced around the NBA, including two stints with the San Antonio Spurs. Promptly after retiring, Udoka joined SA as an assistant coach for Greg Popovich from 2012-2019. He also served as assistant coach to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets.
Udoka got his first head coach gig with the Boston Celtics, guiding the team to their first NBA Final since 2010.
However, after being embroiled in scandal pertaining to improper intimate relationships, Udoka was sacked, and currently serves as HC for the Houston Rockets.
Though a member of the Lithuanian national team, Domantas Sabonis was born to his Hall of Fame father Arvydas in Portland. After his father retired, the whole family moved to Málaga, Spain.
After a successful collegiate career with Gonzaga, he was selected 11th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, before he was promptly traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The next year, Sabonis was again traded, with Victor Oladipo, to the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.
After playing for the Pacers for four seasons, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings as part of an Indiana rebuild.
In his career, Sabonis averaged 15.2 mpg and 9.7 rebounds. He is only the second Lithuanian competitor to be chosen as an NBA All-Star in history.
Born in our city, the gold medalist attended Syracuse, before forgoing his final two years of college eligibility. Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, Grant was traded two years later to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova and a protected draft pick. He was later traded to the Denver Nuggets for a first-round pick, where the team made the Western Conference Finals in the 2020 bubble playoffs.
As a free agent, Grant signed a three-year $60 million contract with the Detroit Pistons, before he was once again traded two years later to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Through 10 seasons, Grant has averaged 12.3 points per game and four rebounds.
Damon Stoudamire cut his teeth playing basketball at Irving Park and at the Matt Dishman Community Center in our city. A alumni of Woodrow Wilson High School (now Ida B. Wells-Barnett), Stoudamire led the Trojans to a 74-4 record, including two state championships in 1989 and 1991.
For his high school career, he averaged 26.1 points and 9.2 assists. His efforts earned two Oregon Player of the Year awards and one Converse High School All-America Team selection his senior year.
The youngest player on the roster of the United States men’s national basketball team, Stoudamire led the team in assists and steals, nabbing gold medal honors at the 1993 Summer Universiade.
A talented three point scorer, Stoudamire was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 1995. He later played for the Portland Trail Blazers, where he received significant playoff minutes, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs.
The five time All-Star started his career with the Carolina Cougars and Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. After the ABA-NBA merger, Lucas enjoyed a fruitful four year run with the Portland Trail Blazers. Alongside teammate Bill Walton, the duo managed a surprising come-from-behind 4-2 upset victory over the heavily favored Philadelphia 76ers in the 1977 NBA Finals.
Lucas later became an NBA journeyman, competing for the New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks, the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Seattle SuperSonics, before retiring with Portland.
Though he wasn’t born here, Lucas was hired by the Portland Trail Blazers as an assistant coach. His jersey number, 20, was retired in the Rip City rafters. On October 31, 2010, Lucas died at his home in Portland. The Blazers honored him by wearing No. 20 patches on their jersey for the remainder of the season.