Prior to forgoing college and entering the argument as one of the greatest players in NBA history, Kobe Bryant became a high school legend as he led Lower Merion to 31-3 record and its first state championship in 53 years during his senior season. During his final prep season, Bryant was named a McDonald’s All-American, Naismith Player of the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year. Bryant was also busy off the court, taking musical artist Brandy to his senior prom, which further sent Bryant’s public image into the spotlight.
At the time, Bryant was just the 27th player to skip college in favor of the NBA Draft. Lower Merion retired Bryant’s No. 33 jersey in 2002 and he finished his high school career with more points scored than fellow Los Angeles Lakers legend, Wilt Chamberlain. Common lore had Bryant attending Duke had he opted to attend college, but he went on record and stated he would have enrolled at North Carolina for the opportunity to play against Vince Carter in practice. Bryant has won five championships with the Lakers in 18 seasons and appears to be on his way to joining Magic Johnson in spending his entire NBA career donning purple and gold.
(H/T Kobe Bryant – Our Legend)
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