With the Los Angeles Lakers having just won the NBA Finals championship and the Los Angeles Dodgers going for a World Series title, the thought popped up to see if there were any California high schools that may have had alums in not just the World Series but also the Super Bowl and NBA Finals. Yes, there’s more than one. A few were easy to get, but several others not as much.
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Here’s the list (alphabetical)
(Let us know if there is a school we missed):
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland)
The Dragons just had an alum in the World Series one year ago with pitcher Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals. They had Brian Shaw play for three L.A. Lakers’ NBA title teams from 2000 to 2002 and they’ve had Super Bowl representation with those such as Tarik Glenn (Colts) and Eric Bjornson (Cowboys).
Hall of Famer Duke Snider is still the most prestigious from Compton to play in the major leagues. He was in the World Series six times with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. For the Super Bowl, Compton has had many play in it, including Marv Fleming (four times), Roy Jefferson (twice) and Robin Cole (twice). For the NBA Finals, DeMar DeRozan has never been in it, but in 1961 we see Woody Sauldsberry in it as a member of the St. Louis Hawks.
The Dons have some obvious guys for the NBA Finals — such as Dennis Johnson (the MVP of the 1979 NBA Finals for the Seattle Supersonics), plus Tayshaun Prince and Tyson Chandler. For the Super Bowl, future Hall of Famer Richard Sherman just played in it for the San Francisco 49ers and also helped the Seattle Seahawks win one in 2014. It isn’t as obvious for the World Series, but one of the members of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 1981 world championship team was Dominguez grad Ken Landreaux.
Fairfax (Los Angeles)
A member of the first of three Oakland A’s World Series title teams in 1972 was Fairfax grad Mike Epstein. The Lions had receiver Az Hakim in two Super Bowls for the St. Louis Rams and they make it for the NBA Finals with Solomon Hill. He was on the roster of the Miami Heat team that just lost to the Lakers in the 2020 series.
Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce leads the way for the Sentinels. Pierce led the Boston Celtics to a title in 2008. Inglewood also makes this list for outfielder Coco Crisp (played in two different World Series) and defensive end Benson Mayowa (played for Seattle in the Super Bowl).
Point guard Russell Westbrook (played for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 NBA Finals) and baseball slugger George Foster (played for the Cincinnati Reds’ Big Red Machine in 1970s) lead the way for Leuzinger. The Olympians make this list because of LB Marvcus Patton playing in more than one Super Bowl for the Buffalo Bills.
Long Beach Poly (Long Beach)
Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn played for the San Diego Padres in their World Series appearance in 1984. The Jackrabbits also had a World Series alum when Chase Utley was playing for the Philadelphia Phillies and then later for the Dodgers. For the Super Bowl, one would assume the school with the most NFL alums in the country (unless it’s been passed recently by Florida’s St. Thomas Aquinas) would have a bunch for the Super Bowl. It’s not a bunch and we didn’t find the first one until 1976 — WR Tony Hill (Dallas Cowboys). Later, LB Willie McGinest was on three Super Bowl title teams with the New England Patriots. For the NBA Finals, Poly makes this list with recent reserve Jordan Bell of the Golden State Warriors.
Of course, Mack would be on this list. It’s easier for the Warriors with all-time greats Bill Russell in the NBA and Frank Robinson in MLB. Those two were at Mack at the same time, too, in the early 1950s. McClymonds didn’t have to wait long to get a Super Bowl player, either. In just the fourth one, in 1970, the victorious Kansas City Chiefs had running back Wendell Hayes (who also played basketball at Mack). Two years ago, Marcus Peters, the son of current Mack head football coach Michael Peters, played in the Super Bowl for the Rams. Oh, and at the same time that Russell, Robinson and Hayes were in the NBA, MLB and NFL, McClymonds grad Jim Hines was the world record holder in the 100-meter dash.
Here’s another Laker connection since Michael Cooper of the team’s 1980s dynasty years is a former Bulldog. This school also had Irv Noren in the outfield for New York Yankee teams in the World Series in the 1950s and in 2001 we have DB Chris McAlister who played in the Super Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens.
San Ramon Valley (Danville)
This one took some digging, but the Wolves make it with Mark Madsen for the NBA Finals (he was with the champion L.A. Lakers in 2001 and 2002), Nate Schierholtz for the World Series (played for the S.F. Giants in 2010) and John Gesek for the Super Bowl (played for the Dallas Cowboys in 1994).
Taft (Woodland Hills)
The Toreadors not only had a Super Bowl player, but an MVP in linebacker Malcolm Smith, who was MVP for the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. For the NBA Finals, they had point guard Jordan Farmar playing for two of the L.A. Lakers’ title teams. For the World Series, they’ve had a few, most notably Hall of Famer Robin Yount of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1982.
The greatest leadoff hitter in MLB history, outfielder Rickey Henderson, is the main one from Oakland Tech to have played in the World Series. The Bulldogs also have a running back, Marshawn Lynch, who was in the Super Bowl twice with the Seattle Seahawks. For the NBA Finals, Oakland Tech’s Jim Pollard was a future Hall of Fame member of four teams with the Minneapolis Lakers that won NBA championships within five years (1950, 1952, 1953, 1954). Plus, more recently, Leon Powe was a valuable reserve on the 2008 Boston Celtics.
Note: These are all of the ones we came up with. These writeups also don’t include every alum from those schools who may have played in a World Series, Super Bowl or NBA Finals. Once we determined there was at least one in each of the three events from each school, we stopped looking. We also don’t have World Series alums compiled every year since before 1968.