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Long Island in the pros: NBA edition
A look at those pro basketball players who first shined on the Long Island hardwood. To qualify, they must have appeared in at least one BAA, NBA or ABA game.
(This list is always updating, so if you see someone missing, use the comments to let us know.)
CARL BRAUN | High school: Garden City (1945) | BAA: Knicks (1947-49) | NBA: Knicks (1949-50, 52-61), Celtics (1961-62)
A five-time All-Star for the Knicks, Braun finished his career with 10,625 points. He averaged at least 10 points per game in his first 11 seasons, and missed just four regular-season games from 1952-59.
FRANK BRICKOWSKI | High school: Locust Valley (1977) | NBA: Supersonics (1984-86, ‘95-96), Lakers (1986-87), Spurs (1987-90), Bucks (1990-94), Hornets (1994), Celtics (1996-97)
A bruising big man at Locust Valley, Brickowski was taken by the Knicks in 1981. He never played for the team, instead playing two seasons overseas before signing with Seattle. He twice averaged more than 16 points per game, and three times averaged over six boards.
AUD BRINDLEY | High school: South Side (1942) | BAA: Knicks (1946-47)
Brindley’s professional career spanned 12 games for the Knicks during the 1946-47 season. He finished his career with 16 fouls and 14 field goals made.
(Credit: 1941 South Side High School/Judd Studio)
LARRY BROWN | High school: Long Beach (1958) | ABA: Buccaneers (1967-68), Oaks (1968-69), Capitols (1969-70), Squires (1970-71), Rockets (1971-72)
Before he began his 30-year coaching career, Brown served as a point guard in the ABA. He was named to the All-Star team each of his first three seasons, leading the league in assists each year.
(Credit: Newsday File Photo)
REGGIE CARTER | High school: Long Island Lutheran (1975) | NBA: Knicks (1980-82)
The Knicks took Carter, who had terrific careers at Lutheran and then St. John’s, in the second round of the 1979 NBA Draft. He started one game in his two-year career, and finished with 471 career points.
BILL CHAMBERLAIN | High school: Long Island Lutheran (1968) | ABA: Tams (1972), Colonels (1972-73) | NBA: Suns (1973-74)
Chamberlain played a season each in the ABA and NBA, putting up nearly identical numbers in the two leagues. He averaged 5.2 points, 1.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 50 games in the ABA, and 5.5 points, 1.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 28 games in the NBA.
JOE DEPRE | High school: Westbury (1966) | ABA: Nets (1970-72)
A St. John’s alum, DePre played in parts of three seasons with the Nets. His playing time dwindled significantly after his rookie season, when he averaged 8.8 points and 23.7 minutes per game. His Nets lost in the 1971-72 ABA finals to the Pacers.
(Credit: Newsday/Don Jacobsen)
CONNIE DIERKING | High school: Valley Stream Central (1954) | NBA: Nationals (1958-60), 76ers (1963-65, ‘70-71), Warriors (1965), Royals (1965-70)
Dierking’s (24) claim to fame is his involvement in a three-for-one swap for Wilt Chamberlain in 1965. He bounced around the league during his 10-year career, playing his best basketball for the Cincinnati Royals from 1967-70. He averaged more than 16 points per game and shot better than 40 percent from the field in those three seasons.
BILLY DONOVAN | High school: Saint Agnes (1983) | NBA: Knicks (1987-88)
Well before scoring a megadeal in Florida as the team’s college basketball coach, Donovan played a season with the Knicks in the NBA. Nicknamed “Billy the Kid” while playing for Rick Pitino at Providence, Donovan scored 105 points and had 87 assists over his 44 games in the pros.
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)
DENNIS DUVAL | High school: Westbury (1970) | NBA: Bullets (1974-75), Hawks (1975-76)
“Sweet D” played 50 games over two seasons in the NBA. He finished with a .361 shooting percentage and a 1.9 scoring average.
“Dr. J” finished his career as one of the best players in history. He was named to 16 All-Star teams, garnered four MVP awards, and won three league championships, two in the ABA with the Nets in 1974 and 1976 and another with the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. (Credit: AP)
DANNY GREEN | High school: St. Mary’s (2005) | NBA: Cavaliers (2009-10), Spurs (2010-present)
Green finished his high school career with 1,535 points, and averaged 20 points and 10 boards per game as a senior and was named Newsday’s player of the year. He became a key part of the Spurs' bench in his third NBA season, and agreed to a contract extension with the team through 2015.
(Credit: Richard Slattery)
TOM GUGLIOTTA | High school: Walt Whitman (1988) | NBA: Bullets (1992-94), Warriors (1994-95), Timberwolves (1995-98), Suns (1998-2004), Jazz (2004), Celtics (2004-05), Hawks (2005)
Gugliotta, whose two older brothers played in Europe, grew four inches and gained 52 pounds from his listed measurements as a senior in high school to his pro measurements. He played for seven teams over 13 seasons, twice averaging more than 20 points per game. He made one All-Star Game, in 1997.
COULBY GUNTHER | High school: South Side (1941) | BAA: Ironmen (1946-47), Bombers (1948-49)
Gunther had a solid rookie season in the BAA, averaging 14.1 points for the Pittburgh Ironmen. His production plummeted his second season with St. Louis, his final year in the BAA.
(Credit: 1940 South Side High School/Judd Studio)
JEFF HALLIBURTON | High school: Malverne (1967) | NBA: Hawks (1971-73), 76ers (1973)
Halliburton (left), who is a cousin of Julius Erving, played two seasons, finished with 562 points in 92 NBA games, and shot 44 percent from the field in his career.
ZENDON HAMILTON | High school: Sewanhaka (1994) | NBA: Clippers (2000-01), Nuggets (2001-02), Raptors (2002-03), 76ers (2003-04, ‘06), Bucks (2004-05), Cavaliers (2005-06)
Hamilton, who is still active overseas with Polytekhnika-Halychyna Lviv, started 15 games over his six-year NBA career. His best year came in 2001-02, when he averaged 6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game with the Nuggets. Hamilton was Newsday’s player of the year in 1994.
(Credit: Getty Images)
PHIL HANKINSON | High school: Great Neck (1969) | NBA: Celtics (1973-75)
After a monstrous senior year, when he averaged 28.7 points and 17 rebounds per game, Hankinson played at the University of Pennsylvania. He was taken in the second round of 1973 NBA Draft, and played 31 games in two seasons with Boston.
(Credit: Kenneth Hankinson)
TOBIAS HARRIS | High school: Half Hollow Hills West (2010) | NBA: Bucks (2011-current)
Harris, a two-time Newsday player of the year was selected No. 19 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Bobcats, and subsequently dealt to Milwaukee. He was named Mr. New York Basketball in 2010, and played on the McDonald?s All-American team.
(Credit: Frank Koester)
JIM HAYES | High school: St. Agnes (1966) | ABA: Nets (1970-71)
Hayes hit more free throws (52) than field goals (46) in his one year with the Nets. He finished with 144 points, 45 rebounds and 47 assists.
ART HEYMAN | High school: Oceanside (1958) | NBA: Knicks (1963-65), Royals (1965), 76ers (1966) | ABA: Americans (1967), Pipers (1967-69), Floridians (1969-70)
Heyman caused a bit of a stir after his senior year at Oceanside, ditching a letter of intent with UNC to play for rival Duke. He was the No. 1 pick in the 1963 draft, averaging 15.4 points per game as a rookie with the Knicks. He bounced around after a solid first season, and his best season came in 1967-68 with the Pittsburgh Pipers, when he averaged 21.5 points per game with the team en route to an ABA title.
MARC IAVARONI | High school: Plainview JFK (1974) | NBA: 76ers (1982-84), Spurs (1984-86), Jazz (1986-89)
Iavaroni signed with Philadelphia after two seasons overseas. He started for the Sixers as a rookie and averaged 5.1 points and 4.1 rebounds on the way to an NBA Championship. He missed all 17 of his three-point attempts over his seven-year career.
MIKE JAMES | High school: Amityville (1993) | NBA: Heat (2001-03), Celtics (2003-04), Pistons (2004), Bucks (2004-05), Rockets (2005), Raptors (2005-06), Timberwolves (2006-07), Rockets (2007-08), Hornets (2008-09), Wizards (2009-10), Bulls (2012)
James signed as a free agent with the Heat after several seasons overseas. He broke out with the Raptors in 2005-06, averaging 20.3 points per game, but floundered in Minnesota after signing a free-agent deal. He signed with the Bulls after a brief stint in the NBA D-League, and was later released.
SHELTON JONES | High school: Amityville (1984) | NBA: Spurs (1988), Warriors (1988), 76ers (1989)
Jones didn’t have much of an impact on the court in the NBA — he played for three different teams during his lone season — but did manage a fourth-place finish in the 1989 Slam Dunk contest.
(Credit: Newsday/Daniel Sheehan)
TIM KEMPTON | High school: St. Dominic (1982) | NBA: Clippers (1986-87), Hornets (1988-89, ‘94), Nuggets (1989-90) Suns (1992-93), Cavaliers (1994), Hawks (1995-96), Spurs (1996-97), Magic (1997), Raptors (1997-98)
Kempton played for more teams (nine) than number of seasons (eight) in the NBA. He started 20 games in his career, and averaged more than 5 points per game twice.
JIM KISSANE | High school: Chaminade (1964) | ABA: Pipers (1968-69)
Kissane was drafted by the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals, but wound up playing in the ABA. He appeared in two games, scoring six total points.
(Credit: BC Athletics)
TOBY KNIGHT | High school: Port Jefferson (1973) | NBA: Knicks (1977-80, ‘81-82)
Knight played four seasons in the NBA, enjoying a two-season peak with the Knicks. He averaged 19.1 points per game during the 1979-80 season, but struggled after missing the 1980-81 season, and was waived by the Knicks after his fourth year.
(Credit: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill)
MITCH KUPCHAK | High school: Brentwood (1972) | NBA: Bullets (1976-81), Lakers (1981-96)
Kupchak won a trio of division titles with Brentwood from 1970-72. He was taken 13th overall by the Bullets in the 1976 NBA Draft, and was named to the NBA All-Rookie team. He won a pair of titles — 1978 with Washington and 1985 with Los Angeles — and finished with a career average of 10.2 points per game. He is now the general manager of the Lakers.
BRIAN MAHONEY | High school: St. Agnes (1967) | ABA: Nets (1972-73)
Mahoney played sparingly in his lone year with the Nets, seeing action in 19 games. He finished with 58 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in his career.
(Credit: Newsday/John Keating)
JOE MULLANEY | High school: Chaminade (1943) | NBA: Celtics (1949-50)
Maloney’s playing career was short-lived — he played in 37 games, averaging 0.8 points per game — but he did finish with a 322-244 coaching record over eight seasons in the NBA and ABA.
GEORGE NOSTRAND | High school: Uniondale (1941) | BAA: Huskies (1946), Rebels (1946-47), Steam Rollers (1947-49) | NBA: Celtics (1949), Blackhawks (1949), Stags (1949-50)
Nostrand is a basketball legend, though not necessarily for his numbers. He played a major role in the BAA’s advertising for its inaugural game — guaranteed free admission to those taller than the 6-8 Nostrand. He finished his pro career with an 8.2 points per game average.
A.J. PRICE | High school: Amityvlle (2004) | NBA: Pacers (2009-2012), Wizards (2012-present)
Amityville won three LI titles and two state titles during Price’s tenure with the team. He averaged 28.5 points per game as a senior, was a two-time Newsday player of the year and played at UConn. Price has been serviceable off the bench in his career, averaging 6.0 points.
TOM RIKER | High school: St. Dominic (1968) | NBA: Knicks (1972-75)
The Knicks took Riker eighth overall in the 1972 NBA Draft. He never earned a large role with the team, playing just 82 games over his three-year career.
(Credit: Getty Images)
JIM ROWINSKI | High school: Syosset (1979) | NBA: Pistons (1989), 76ers (1989), Heat (1990)
Rowinski was drafted by the Jazz, signed two 10-day contracts with the Pistons, and signed free-agent deals with both the 76ers and Heat. He played 23 games in all, finishing with 57 points and 34 rebounds.
(Credit: Purdue Athletics Communications)
High school: Brentwood (1977)
NBA: Bucks (1986)
Rowland signed as a free agent with the Bucks and played in two games, finishing with three total points.
(Credit: SUNY Potsdam)
JEFF RULAND | High school: Sachem (1977) | NBA: Bullets (1981-86), 76ers (1986-87, ‘91-92), Pistons (1992-93)
Ruland made a pit stop in Spain before enjoying a productive NBA career. He led the league in minutes — and turnovers — his third season, averaging 22.2 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He was named to the 1984 All-Star team.
AL SKINNER | High school: Malverne (1970) | ABA: Nets (1974-76) | NBA: Nets (1976-77, ‘78-79), Pistons (1977-78), 76ers (1979-80)
Skinner bounced around the league in his six-year career, even playing for both teams in the same game in 1978. (The game was protested, then replayed later in the season, after Skinner had been dealt from the Nets to the 76ers.) Skinner finished his career with 3,082 points, and has coached for 22 seasons in college basketball.
(Credit: Newsday File Photo)
RANDY SMITH | High school: Bellport (1967) | NBA: Braves (1971-78), Clippers (1978-79, ‘82-83), Cavaliers (1979-81), Knicks (1981-82), Hawks (1983)
Smith was the NBA’s original iron man, playing in 906 straight games from 1972-82 (his record was eventually broken by A.C. Green). He averaged more than 20 points per game four times. The two-time NBA All-Star also made the All-NBA second team once. Smith scored 27 points off the bench, outscoring Julius Erving, David Thompson and others to win the 1978 All-Star Game MVP.
WALLY SZCZERBIAK | High school: Cold Spring Harbor (1995) | NBA: Timberwolves (1999-2006), Celtics (2006-07), Supersonics (2007-08), Cavaliers (2008-09)
Szczerbiak spent his early childhood in Spain while his dad played professional basketball overseas, before moving to Long Island. He had an efficient 10-year career, finishing with 9,195 career points and 2,602 career rebounds. Szczerbiak also played in the 2002 All-Star game. He was Newsday’s player of the year in 1995.
(Credit: Newsday File Photo)
BILL THIEBEN | High school: Sayville (1952) | NBA: Pistons (1956-58)
After setting the Sayville single-game points record (48) in high school, Thieben went on to have a legendary career at Hofstra, averaging more than 20 points and 20 rebounds each of his three seasons on the varsity team. In two seasons with the Pistons, Thieben averaged 4 points per game.
(Credit: The Topps Company)
ERNIE VANDEWEGHE | High school: Oceanside (1945) | NBA: Knicks (1949-56)
Vandeweghe played football, basketball and baseball at Oceanside, and attended college at Colgate. He was drafted in the third round of the BAA draft in 1949, and made his debut during the NBA’s first season. He twice averaged 10-plus points per game for the Knicks, and finished his career with 2,135 points and 834 rebounds.
(Credit: Newsday File Photo)
FOOTS WALKER | High school: Southampton (1970) | NBA: Cavaliers (1974-80), Nets (1980-84)
Walker played in the NBA for 10 seasons. His two best years were his final two with Cleveland, when he averaged 10.1 and 9.4 points, respectively. He twice finished in the top 10 in assists, and in 1979 became the first Cavalier to record a triple-double.
BILL WENNINGTON | High school: Long Island Lutheran (1981) | NBA: Mavericks (1985-90), Kings (1990-91, ‘99-2000), Bulls (1993-99)
Wennington started just 88 games over his career, but won a pair of championships with the Bulls in 1996 and ‘98. He had a sandwich named after him by Chicago-area Mcdonald’s: the “Beef Wennington,” in 1998.
(Credit: Newsday/Paul Bereswill)
HOWARD WOOD | High school: East Hampton (1978) | NBA: Jazz (1981-82)
Wood was taken in the second round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the Jazz and averaged 3.4 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
(Credit: Newsday/Don Norkett)
A.J. WYNDER | High school: St. Agnes (1982) | NBA: Celtics (1991)
Wynder, now the coach at Nassau Community College, played in the Pan American Games with the U.S. national basketball team in 1995. He played in six games for the Celtics, finishing with 12 points and eight assists.
(Credit: Fairfield University Athletics)