Since Quincy Pondexter from the University of Washington became an NBA player in 2010, Fresno’s San Joaquin Memorial High has led the state by having more current NBA players than any other school. Go inside to see which two NBA teams are the only ones that don’t have any California players on the roster and which ones have more than two.
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With the 2015 NBA season beginning this week, Quincy Pondexter and his former Fresno San Joaquin Memorial prep teammates – Brook and Robin Lopez – are still on NBA rosters.
They’re not exactly bench warmers, either, and in a survey of NBA opening night rosters it was revealed that the Panthers’ trio continue to be unmatched in that no other school in the state can count that many current pro players.
There are several California schools with two current NBA players, including Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, Dominguez of Compton, Horizon Christian of San Diego, M.L. King of Riverside and Westchester of Los Angeles. Note that we don’t count Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons as from Dominguez since he graduated from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
The Lopez twins and the Holiday brothers – Justin and Jrue – account for two of the schools with multiple NBA alums.
If you’re a fan of teams with the most California players, then the ones to root for the most this season would be the New Orleans Pelicans, Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks. All three of those teams have three from the Golden State who will be playing.
Here is the complete list of California players in the NBA based on opening night rosters of all 30 teams:
(Note: Teams that have no California players would be the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets. We didn’t count center Christian Wood of the 76ers who attended Knight of Palmdale but graduated from Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.)
Aaron Afflalo (Centennial, Compton)
When Afflalo was at Centennial, one of his classmates was hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar. The New York Knicks will be Afflalo’s team for the 2015-16 season.
Ryan Anderson (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills)
A CIF Division II state champion from his junior season with the Trojans, Anderson is a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Trevor Ariza (Westchester, Los Angeles)
The 2003 Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year (who led the Comets to a CIF D1 state title) will be playing once again for the Houston Rockets this season.
Matt Barnes (Del Campo, Fair Oaks)
We recently called the current member of the Memphis Grizzlies (he played for the Clippers last year) the best grid-hooper in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section history.
Anthony Brown (Ocean View, Huntington Beach)
Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Stanley Johnson isn’t the only Orange County rookie this year in the NBA. Brown, who went to Stanford, will be playing for the hometown L.A. Lakers.
Chase Budinger (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad)
The 205-06 Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Year (he also was an All-American in volleyball) is on the roster this season with the Indiana Pacers.
Tyson Chandler (Dominguez, Compton)
He won a ring with the Dallas Mavericks and is now with the Phoenix Suns after a couple of seasons in New York.
Darren Collison (Etiwanda)
He’ll be teaming with new addition Rajon Rondo in the backcourt this season with the Sacramento Kings.
Allen Crabbe (Price, Los Angeles)
The Portland Trailblazers’ player was the 2010 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year.
Jared Cunningham (San Leandro)
He’s already been with several teams in four seasons, but this one he’ll be with LeBron James in Cleveland.
Dewayne Dedmon (Lancaster)
His trail to the NBA including not playing until his senior season (religious reasons), then a stop at Antelope Valley Community College and then USC. He also was a D league all-star who’s now playing for the Orlando Magic.
DeMar DeRozan (Compton)
He’s become an all-star in recent seasons with the Toronto Raptors and has ranked consistently among the NBA’s leading scorers.
Spencer Dinwiddie (Taft, Woodland Hills)
He emerged as a pro prospect at the University of Colorado and is now playing for the Detroit Pistons.
Jared Dudley (Horizon Christian, San Diego)
This will be his ninth season in the NBA and it will be with the Washington Wizards after being on the Bucks last season.
James Ennis (Ventura)
Drafted in 2013 by the Hawks, he went to Australia and Puerto Rico to make money before eventually landing on the roster of the Miami Heat.
Paul George (Knight, Palmdale)
Many, including us, are rooting for the former Fresno State and current Indiana Pacer star after his missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Taj Gibson (Calvary Christian, San Fernando)
Although it doesn’t look like Calvary Christian was ever part of the CIF, Gibson did go there so we’re counting him. He later went to USC and now plays for the Bulls.
Drew Gooden (El Cerrito)
This will be the 14th season for Gooden in the league. He’ll be with the Washington Wizards after previous stints in Cleveland, Milwaukee and a few other places.
Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Injuries derailed our Mr. Basketball 2013 from doing much in his rookie season with the Orlando Magic. His second year will hopefully go much better.
James Harden (Artesia, Lakewood)
In many years, what Harden did last season would have been more than enough for him to have been named MVP of the league. He’s hoping for even more this season with the Houston Rockets.
Solomon Hill (Fairfax, Los Angeles)
After playing for legendary head coach Harvey Kitani, Hill went on to star at Arizona and is now with the Pacers.
Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood)
The 2008 Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year will be playing once again for the New Orleans Pelicans after a great summer in which his wife, Lauren, helped the U.S. win the World Cup in women’s soccer.
Justin Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood)
A member of last season’s title team at Golden State, Justin is on the Atlanta Hawks’ roster this season.
Amir Johnson (Westchester, Los Angeles)
The only member of the Boston Celtics from a California high school, Johnson was the 2005 Mr. Basketball State POY.
Tyler Johnson (St. Francis, Mountain View)
After playing for the Lancers, Johnson went to Fresno State and is now a member of the Miami Heat.
Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)
In his debut game for the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, Stanley had seven points. He was our Mr. Basketball POY for 2014 and played last year for the University of Arizona.
Kawhi Leonard (M.L. King, Riverside)
The MVP of the NBA Finals in 2014 (and Mr. Basketball POY for 2009) will be counted on once again for his offense and defense by legendary San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Damien Lillard (Oakland)
Emerging superstar for the Portland Trailblazers will have to get it done this year without departed All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
Jeremy Lin (Palo Alto)
After his sensational breakthrough with the Knicks, Lin has settled down to have more of a journeyman career. He played with the Lakers last year and will be in Charlotte this season.
Brook Lopez (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)
He’s been a member of the Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets since he first broke into the league in 2008.
Robin Lopez (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)
Just switched from Portland Trailblazers to New York Knicks.
Andre Miller (Verbum Dei, Los Angeles)
Ageless point guard is in Minnesota this season after ending 2015 in Sacramento. He’s also played for the Nuggets, Cavaliers, Sixers, Wizards and Clippers.
The 1995 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year and 2008 MVP of the NBA Finals has reunited with head coach Doc Rivers this season for the L.A. Clippers.
Quincy Pondexter (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)
Now plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. Still find it hard to fathom after all these years how San Joaquin Memorial never won a CIF state title with Quincy and the Lopez twins on the same team.
Norm Powell (Lincoln, San Diego)
He led the Hornets to the 2010 CIF Division II state title, then went to UCLA and is now a rookie for the Raptors.
Tayshaun Prince (Dominguez, Compton)
The Mr. Basketball State POY for 1998 and a key member of a Detroit Pistons team that won it all in 2004 will be playing this season for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tony Snell (M.L. King, Riverside)
He played with Kawhi Leonard in high school and will be playing this season with the Chicago Bulls.
Hollis Thompson (Loyola, Los Angeles)
We initially missed him on this list because he didn’t play as a senior for the Cubs, went to Georgetown early and plays for one of the worst teams in the league (76ers).
Klay Thompson (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM)
Sharpshooting guard for world champion Golden State Warriors hit for 36 points in CIF D3 state title game.
Russell Westbrook (Leuzinger, Lawndale)
MVP of last year’s All-Star Game and one of the most dynamic point guards in the world hopes to lead Oklahoma City further in the playoffs this season.
Derrick Williams (La Mirada)
After playing last season for the Sacramento Kings, Williams has found a home in New York and will be playing for the Knicks.
Jeff Withy (Horizon Christian, San Diego)
One of the reasons that trio from San Joaquin Memorial didn’t win a state title is because they ran into Withy and his teammate Jared Dudley in the SoCal playoffs. Withy, a shot-blocking center, is playing this season for the Utah Jazz.
Delon Wright (Mayfair, Artesia)
He was one of the top players last season in the Pac-12 at Utah and has gained a roster spot as a rookie this year with Toronto.
Nick Young (Cleveland, Reseda)
He’s been on several different NBA teams and is hoping his third season as a member of the L.A. Lakers is a good one.
Stockton office assistant Paul Muyskens contributed to this list. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports