NBA Finals Alums: Point Guard Special

Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood) & Jason Kidd (St. Joseph, Alameda) have both been State Players of the Year as high school players in California. Photos: Chris Smoov / &

The greatest point guard ever from a Northern California high school will be in the head coaching chair for one team in this year’s NBA Finals while the other team will be partially led by one of the greatest point guards ever from a Southern California high school. There’s only one other player on the rosters of both teams from California.

For an updated look at our all-time NBA Finals Alums (Gold Club), CLICK HERE.

Note: We hope you enjoy this free post on Updated player rankings in boys hoops that were completed last week for all four classes are for Gold Club members only. All final rankings in all sports also are for Gold Club only. You can now join for one-month rate of just $3.99. For subscription info, CLICK HERE.

One week after one of the greatest basketball players ever from California, Bill Walton of La Mesa Helix, passed way at age 71, the NBA world will turn its attention beginning on Thursday on the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks.

Walton played for the Celtics in 1986 when they won the NBA title over the Houston Rockets. He also played for them in 1987 when they lost in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.

There have been years in which the two teams in the NBA Finals both had multiple players from California, the latest in 2019 between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors. With the rise in international players, though, the chances of there being none for either team is going up. That hasn’t happened yet, but there are none this year for the Mavericks and there were none in 2021 for the Phoenix Suns and none in 2018 for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The most prominent player from the state in this year’s NBA Finals is point guard Jrue Holiday of the Celtics. He was the Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year in 2008 from Campbell Hall of North Hollywood and is no stranger to being in the NBA Finals. Holiday was a standout in the 2021 NBA Finals for the championship Milwaukee Bucks. He was traded from the Bucks to the Celtics during the 2023 off-season and his defensive prowess was especially on display in some of the Celtics’ wins in the Eastern Conference finals over the Indiana Pacers.

Holiday played with his older brother, Justin, as a freshman along with all-state first team selection Joe Ford on Campbell Hall’s team in 2005 that won the CIF D4 state title and finished with one of the best unbeaten records (32-0) in state history. As a senior in his Mr. Basketball season, Jrue averaged 25.9 ppg with 11.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

The only other player on either team’s roster from the Golden State is guard Brandon Williams of the Celtics. He wasn’t a Celtic in high school at Crespi of Encino but very close as Crespi is known as the Celts. Williams is a Class of 2018 grad of the school who missed his entire junior season to have surgery on a genetic condition in one of his knees. He later played at Arizona.

While Dallas doesn’t have any players from California, the Mavericks sure have one from the state who is their head coach. That’s of course the legendary Jason Kidd, who was Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year for two straight seasons (1991 & 1992) after leading St. Joseph of Alameda to back-to-back CIF D1 state titles. Back in those days, we were doing magazines in addition to weekly newsletters and probably got to know Jason as a high school athlete as well as anyone we’ve ever covered. He’s one of our all-time favorites for sure.

Kidd is now a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a player in the NBA. He played in the NBA Finals as the leading player for the New Jersey Nets in 2002 and 2003, which lost in both series to the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. He got another shot at a ring as a running mate with fellow Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzke for the Mavericks in 2011. That team got the job done in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coach Kidd later got a ring for being an assistant coach on the staff of the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship team in the bubble year of 2020.

Also a former head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks (he is given a lot of credit for the development of Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo), Kidd is looking to become the 14th person in NBA history with NBA titles as a player and head coach. The last one to do it also is from California, Steve Kerr (Palisades of Pacific Palisades), for the Golden State Warriors as a head coach and for the Spurs and Chicago Bulls as a player.

We also scan the assistant coaching roster of both teams in the NBA Finals and an interesting one this year is Jared Dudley on Kidd’s staff in Dallas. We once saw Dudley lead a team to a CIF state title at Horizon Christian of San Diego. He also was a player on that Lakers’ title team from 2020 when Kidd was an assistant coach.

Kidd’s head coaching counterpart for the Celtics, Joe Mazzulla, is from Bishop Hendricken High in Rhode Island. While Kidd has two state titles for when he was in high school, Mazzulla collected three while at Bishop Henricken. It has been reported that he sank a buzzer beater to win one of them.

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

Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

One Comment

  1. Matt
    Posted June 19, 2024 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    let’s not forget Brandon Williams, the Celt who wasn’t always a Celtic. Crespi’s Celts, close to his high school heart, now find their prodigy in the NBA’s grandest stage. As the spotlight shifts, these Californian narratives intertwine, weaving a tale of legacy and redemption. 🌟

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


    Latest News

    Insider Blog