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Fields: Gary Payton Comes Full-Circle

Posted on July 4, 2021

  By LaMarr Fields, SportsPac12

With former Oregon State and NBA basketball nice Gary Payton accepting a college coaching job in his house city, it’s becoming to commemorate him coming full-circle by taking a quick look again at his illustrious profession.

Payton in H.S.

Born and raised in Oakland, Calif., Payton performed his highschool basketball at Skyline High School, the place he drew recruiting consideration from faculties on each coasts—and in all places in between—as one of many nation’s finest level guards.

Payton initially dedicated to play for St. John’s, however then-Red Storm coach Lou Carnesecca withdrew his scholarship provide on the final second in what must be thought-about one of many largest recruiting blunders of all time.


Oregon State’s Ralph Miller took full benefit, figuring out the assured prep star might carry the Beavers to new heights.

Payton averaged 12.5 factors, 7.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per sport as a freshman at OSU, profitable Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year awards. But it was just the start of Payton’s success in Corvallis.

He adopted up his freshman yr with a bit of bit higher sophomore yr, averaging 14.5 factors on 48% taking pictures from the sphere. But it was his junior yr the place actually Payton began to evolve as a participant.

That identical yr, Payton upped his scoring to twenty.1 factors per sport whereas additionally averaging 8.1 assists and three.0 steals per sport.

By the time Payton turned a senior, every thing had begun to click on for the Oregon State star.

Payton’s SI cowl

He was featured on the quilt of Sports Illustrated because the Nation’s high basketball participant of the season after averaging 25.7 factors, 8.1 assists, and three.4 assists, whereas taking pictures 50% from the sphere and 33% from past the arc.

Payton completed his four-year faculty profession averaging 18.1 factors, 7.8 assists, and a couple of.7 steals per sport, incomes three All-Pac-10 groups, and changing into a consensus All-America honors in his senior yr.

When Payton left Oregon State, he was the college’s chief in factors, discipline objectives, three-pointers, assists, and steals, having helped lead the Beavers to 3 NCAA Tournaments and one NIT look.

An excellent all-around participant who might rating, he was recognized for his protection which earned him the nickname “The Glove.” Not surprisingly, Payton was elected to the Oregon State Hall of Fame in 1996.

Payton was drafted within the First Round with the second decide of the 1990 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics.

Payton went on to play 18 NBA seasons for the Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat, profitable an NBA Championship and enjoying his option to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Now he’s again the place he began, in his hometown, specializing in constructing a university basketball participant from scratch.

Gary Payton

“It’s a startup program and a private independent school where I can establish what I want to establish,” Payton advised Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “I don’t have to go behind anybody to try to make a program become something or keep it going. I can start it off with my own program with what I want to happen. And the reason I took it is because it’s in Oakland, California.”

And Oakland isn’t the sports activities metropolis it as soon as was.

“Everybody knows we losing all kinds of sports here,” Payton mentioned. “We lost the [Las Vegas] Raiders, the [Oakland] A’s want to leave because we’re not giving them an arena. The [Golden State] Warriors have left. So, we need something to spunk these people, these fans, back up. And especially a guy like myself coming from Oakland, California, and what I’ve done in my career, I think a lot of people would be really, really excited about it.”

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