DFW Hardwood Legends Spotlight VOL1: #1 Overall NBA Draft Picks From The DFW Metroplex
The SportsInfluencer's DFW Hardwood Legends Report continues as we feature some former #1 overall Draft picks from the Dallas area. You can't talk about the rich history of DFW Basketball without mentioning these two former local High School stars.
Larry Johnson (1992)
Raised in South Dallas and graduated from Dallas Skyline HS where he was a 1987 McDonald's All-American under Head Coach JD Mayo.Johnson originally made a verbal commitment to Southern Methodist University, but began his collegiate career at Odessa College in Texas. He played in the 1987–88 and 1988–89 seasons where he averaged 22.3 points per game as a freshman and over 29 points per game his sophomore year, and became the first—and to this day, only—player ever to win the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 Player of the Year award both years he played. There were even some basketball analysts who believed Johnson could have been a first round selection in the 1989 NBA draft if he had declared for early entry.
LJ went on to star on one of the greatest teams in college basketball history, the UNLV Runnin Rebels, where he appeared in Back2Back Final Fours and won the National Player of The Year Award
Johnson was selected first overall in the 1991 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in his first season.
In 1993, Johnson was voted to start in that year's All-Star Game, making him the first Hornet in franchise history to receive that honor; During this time, Johnson, was the Converse poster boy with a popular series of commercials featuring Larry as "Grandmama"
In 1993, Johnson signed what was at the time the most lucrative contract in NBA history, a 12-year, $84 million deal with the Hornets.
Top 10 career plays
• 2× NBA All-Star (1993, 1995)
• All-NBA Second Team (1993)
• NBA Rookie of the Year (1992)
• NBA All-Rookie First Team (1992)
• NCAA champion (1990)
• Naismith College Player of the Year (1991)
• John R. Wooden Award (1991)
• USBWA Player of the Year (1991)
• NABC Player of the Year (1991)
• Sporting News College Player of the Year (1991)
• 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1990, 1991)
• 2× Big West Player of the Year (1990, 1991)
• 2x First-team All-Big West (1990, 1991)
• No. 4 retired by UNLV Runnin' Rebels
• 2x NJCAA Division I Player of the Year (1988, 1989)
• USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1989)
• Mr. Basketball USA (1987)
• McDonald's High School All American (1987)
• First-team Parade All-American (1987)
Career NBA statistics
Points 11,450 (16.2 ppg)
Rebounds 5,300 (7.5 rpg)
Assists 2,298 (3.3 apg)
Kenyon Martin (2000)
Martin, raised in Oak Cliff and graduated from Dallas ISD's Bryan Adams HS where he was an All-State performer and one of the most dominant players in Texas. He went on to the University of Cincinnati where he played for head coach Bob Huggins where he was the consensus National Player of the Year, earning numerous awards from various organizations, and the team was ranked #1 in the nation at the conclusion of the regular season. Martin suffered a broken leg three minutes into the Bearcats' first game of the Conference Tournament, keeping him out of the NCAA Tournament that year. Later that year, he was selected first overall in the 2000 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets, the last American born college senior to be drafted #1 overall to date. Martin remains the Bearcats' all-time leader in career blocked shots and field goal percentage and his #4 jersey was retired in 2000.
As the top draft pick, he went on to be named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and finished second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting.
Played in 2 NBA Finals as a starter and was a 2004 NBA All-Star.
Over the course of his 15-year NBA career, Martin was very active and visible in his hometown of Dallas as well as New Jersey and Denver through his work with The Kenyon Martin Foundation.
Martin's son, Kenyon Martin Jr., a highly recruited 2019 HS prospect, elected not to go to college and spent his HS postgraduate year preparing for a professional career. He was selected 52nd overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings.
Career Highlights and Awards
• NBA All-Star (2004)
• NBA All-Rookie First Team (2001)
• Consensus National College Player of the Year (2000)
• Consensus first-team All-American (2000)
• NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2000)
• Conference USA Player of the Year (2000)
• 2× First-team All-Conference USA (1999, 2000)
• No. 4 retired by Cincinnati Bearcats
Points 9,325 (12.3 ppg)
Rebounds 5,159 (6.8 rpg)
Assists 1,439 (1.9apg)
-Sources: Wikipedia, University of Cincinnati Men's Basketball, University of Nevada-Las Vegas Men's Basketball, National Basketball Association