Season Opening NBA Alums 2022-23

Sierra Canyon’s three leading seniors — Scotty Pippen, KJ Martin and Cassius Stanley — left the school in 2019 as back-to-back CIF Open Division state champions and as part of one of the most talented lineups of any team in California history. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth dominates with seven players who are on NBA rosters as the 2022-23 season begins this week. There already were five former Trailblazers last season, but now you have to add Christian Koloko of the Toronto Raptors plus we’re counting two-way G League players such as Scotty Pippen Jr. of the L.A. Lakers. Chino Hills has those three former players from its 2016 national title team all in the league, while San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno also has three counting Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets along with Campbell Hall of North Hollywood with the three Holiday brothers.

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If you’re going by which team has the most players from California high schools as the 2022-23 NBA season gets underway this week, then the teams to root for would be the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Those are the three teams that have the most current regular roster NBA players heading into opening night.

The Clippers in one sense also beat out every other team not just with four California players but because two of the four are NBA superstars with the others regular contributors as well. The two are Kawhi Leonard (M.L. King of Riverside) and Paul George (Knight of Palmdale). Kawhi is of course a historically great player (NBA Finals MVP for two different teams) and is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him for all of the 2021-22 season. George is a seven-time NBA All-Star. The others to watch are Norm Powell from Lincoln of San Diego and 2020 Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Brandon Boston Jr. from Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth.

The Hawks and Cavaliers both have brothers to account for their total of three with the Hawks starting out with Aaron and Justin Holiday. They also of course are the brothers of Milwaukee Bucks standout Jrue Holiday (also a former Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year) and all played at Campbell Hall of North Hollywood. They have all three been in the league since Aaron (the youngest) has stuck following his career at UCLA. The Cavs had 2022 rookie of the year contender Evan Mobley and this season his older brother Isaiah (who didn’t come out early for the draft like Evan) has joined the roster after being selected 49th in the second round of the 2022 draft. Evan and Isaiah Mobley hail from Rancho Christian (Temecula).

Speaking of CIF state titles, the CIF Open Division championship team from 2019 at Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth will have three players that will be in the NBA this season. Two of those players, Cassius Stanley and Kenyon Martin Jr., were looking to be in the NBA last season for the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets, respectively. Cassius didn’t actually play for Indiana, however, and isn’t on a roster yet for this season, but will be playing for Houston’s G-League team. This season, Christian Koloko has nabbed a spot on the roster of the Toronto Raptors after developing into a pro prospect at Arizona, and Scotty Pippen Jr. will be playing in the Los Angeles Lakers system as a two-way player with its G League squad.

We have just five teams in California history that have had three players reach the NBA from the same team. If and when Scotty logs some minutes and Cassius Stanley get up onto a team or current UCLA freshman Amari Bailey eventually gets into the league, Sierra Canyon 2019 will be the first-ever with four. The ones with three are Chino Hills 2016, Westchester of Los Angeles 2002, San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno 2006 and St. Bernard of Playa del Rey 1982.

Good luck and stay healthy to all of the players from California this season.

(All teams listed in alphabetical order)

Atlanta Hawks
Onyeka Okongwu (Chino Hills)
Aaron Holiday (Campbell Hall, N. Hollywood)
Justin Holiday (Campbell Hall, N. Hollywood)

Boston Celtics
None

Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball (Chino Hills)

This is Isaiah Mobley of Temecula Rancho Christian as he appeared in our state stat stars weekly feature in 2016. Photo: Sean Redfield.

Chicago Bulls
Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills)
DeMar DeRozan (Compton)

Cleveland Cavaliers
Robin Lopez (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)
Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian, Temecula)
Isaiah Mobley (Rancho Christian, Temecula)

Dallas Mavericks
Tyler Dorsey (St. John Bosco, Bellflower)*
Spencer Dinwiddie (Taft, Woodland Hills)
Christian Wood (Findlay Prep, Las Vegas NV)**
*Two-way player also with G League team.
**Junior year at Knight (Palmdale)
Note: Head coach Jason Kidd (St. Joseph, Alameda).

Denver Nuggets
Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Peyton Watson (Long Beach Poly)

Detroit Pistons
Marvin Bagley III (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)

Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM)
Note: Head coach Steve Kerr (Palisades, Pacific Palisades).

Houston Rockets
Jalen Green (Prolific Prep, Napa)*
*First three years at San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno).

Indiana Pacers
Cassius Stanley (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)

Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Boston Jr. (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)
Paul George (Knight, Palmdale)
Kawhi Leonard (M.L. King, Riverside)
Norm Powell (Lincoln, San Diego)

De’Anthony Melton of Encino Crespi hoists a smooth-looking jumper during 2015 CIF D4 state final. Photo: James Escarcega.

Los Angeles Lakers
Scotty Pippen Jr. (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)*
Juan Toscano-Anderson (Castro Valley)
Russell Westbrook (Leuzinger, Lawndale)
*Two-way player also with G League team.

Memphis Grizzlies
Ziaire Williams (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)

Miami Heat
DeWayne Dedmon (Lancaster)
Gabe Vincent (St. Mary’s, Stockton)

Milwaukee Bucks
Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall, N. Hollywood)
Brook Lopez (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)

Minnesota Timberwolves
Jordan McLaughlin (Etiwanda)

New Jersey Nets
Kessler Edwards (Etiwanda)

New York Knicks
None

Oklahoma City Thunder
None
Note: David Nwaba (University, L.A.) late roster cut.
Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove) also not expected to play for team this season.

Orlando Magic
Bol Bol (Findlay Prep, Las Vegas NV)*
*Junior year at Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
Note: Head coach Jamahl Mosley (Rancho Buena Vista, Vista).

Philadelphia 76ers
James Harden (Artesia, Lakewood)
De’Anthony Melton (Crespi, Encino)

Phoenix Suns
Duane Washington Jr. (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)

Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard (Oakland)

Sacramento Kings
Chimezie Metu (Lawndale)
KZ Okpala (Esperanza, Anaheim)

San Antonio Spurs
None

Toronto Raptors
Christian Koloko (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)

Utah Jazz
Johnny Juzang (Harvard-Westlake, N. Hollywood)*
*Two-way player also with G League team.
Note: Late roster cut was Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana). He had not signed yet with another team when this list was compiled.

Washington Wizards
Jordan Schakel (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance)*
*Two-way player also with G League team.
Note: Late roster cut was Quenton Jackson (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach).

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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One Comment

  1. William
    Posted October 18, 2022 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Leonard never won a California State Championship.

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