by Peter A. Coclanis and Alex Coclanis

Even in a down year such as 2011, the NBA Draft packs a lot of excitement—and has for a long time.
This being the case, it’s difficult to imagine how little interest the Draft—or the teams for that matter—generated in the early years of the NBA. The League’s pioneers struggled mightily to increase fan interest, and among a number of interesting initiatives, was the so-called “territorial draft,” which is little remembered today.

According to this league policy, a team could opt to forfeit a first-round pick before the Draft and select a “territorial” pick, defined as a local player, who presumably would get area fans into the seats. This policy was actually in effect from the late ‘40s until 1965 and a number of legendary players were drafted as territorial picks—Ed McCauley, Tommy Heinsohn, Guy Rodgers, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry Lucas, Bill Bradley and Gail Goodrich among them.

A “local” player was defined as one who played at a college within 50 miles of an NBA team’s arena, but the NBA did not always interpret the rule in this way. Wilt Chamberlain played at the University of Kansas, but in 1959, after a year with the Harlem Globetrotters, was drafted as a territorial pick by his hometown team, the Philadelphia Warriors (the justification being that there was no NBA team anywhere near Lawrence, KS).

With the Chamberlain case in mind and because many current NBA players are associated more closely with their hometowns than with the colleges they briefly touch down on, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of current NBA players who grew up (or played much of their high school ball) within 50 miles of an NBA arena. If the territorial draft was still in effect—Bill Buntin, Bill Bradley and Gail Goodrich in 1965 were the last three players chosen as territorial picks—the following NBA players would have been eligible to have been selected in the Draft as territorial picks by teams near their home turf:

CITY FIRST LAST HIGH SCHOOL
Atlanta Al-Farouq Aminu Norcross (GA) HS
Atlanta Anthony Carter Crim (GA) HS
Atlanta Toney Douglas Jonesboro (GA) HS
Atlanta Derrick Favors South Atlanta HS (GA)
Atlanta JJ Hickson Wheeler HS (GA)
Atlanta Jordan Hill Patterson School (NC)
Atlanta Dwight Howard SW Atlanta Christian
Atlanta Jodie Meeks Norcross (GA) HS
Atlanta Josh Powell Riverdale (GA) HS
Atlanta Josh Smith Oak Hill Academy
Atlanta Louis Williams South Gwinett HS (GA)
Boston Jeff Adrien Brookline (MA) HS
Charlotte Stephen Curry Charlotte Christian
Charlotte Antawn Jamison Providence HS (NC)
Charlotte Anthony Morrow Charlotte Latin HS
Charlotte Ish Smith Central Cabarrus HS (NC)
Chicago Tony Allen Crane (IL) HS
Chicago Shannon Brown Proviso East (IL) HS
Chicago Will Bynum Crane (IL) HS
Chicago Melvin Ely Thornton HS (IL)
Chicago Kevin Garnett Farragut Career Academy (IL)
Chicago Luke Harangody Andrean HS (IN)
Chicago Juwan Howard Chicago Vocational HS
Chicago Othyus Jeffers Hubbard HS (IL)
Chicago Corey Maggette Fenwick HS (IL)
Chicago JaVale McGee Hales Franciscan HS (IL)
Chicago Nazr Mohammed Kenwood Academy HS (IL)
Chicago Anthony Parker Naperville Central HS (IL)
Chicago Quentin Richardson Whitney Young HS (IL)
Chicago Derrick Rose Simeon HS (IL)
Chicago Evan Turner St. Joseph’s (IL)
Chicago Dwyane Wade Richards HS (IL)
Chicago Julian Wright Homewood-Flossmor HS (IL)
Cleveland Earl Boykins Central Catholic HS
Cleveland LeBron James St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (OH)
Cleveland James Posey Chamberlin HS (OH)
Dallas LaMarcus Aldridge Seagoville (TX) HS
Dallas Darrell Arthur South Oak Cliff (TX) HS
Dallas Tony Battie South Oak Cliff (TX) HS
Dallas Chris Bosh Lincoln (TX) HS
Dallas Ike Diogu Garland (TX) HS
Dallas Acie Law Kimball HS (TX)
Dallas Kenyon Martin Bryan Adams HS
Dallas Jason Maxiell Newman Smith HS (TX)
Dallas CJ Miles Skyline HS (TX)
Dallas Anthony Randolph Woodrow Wilson HS (TX)
Dallas Kurt Thomas Hillcrest (TX) HS
Dallas Willie Warren North Crowley HS (TX)
Dallas Deron Williams The Colony HS (TX)
Denver Chauney Billups George Washington (CO) HS
Detroit Shane Battier Detroit Country Day
Detroit Jordan Crawford Hargrave Military Academy
Detroit Chris Douglas-Roberts Northwestern HS (MI)
Detroit Willie Green Cooley HS (MI)
Detroit Manny Harris Redford HS (MI)
Golden State Drew Gooden El Cerrito (CA) HS
Golden State Eddie House Hayward HS(CA)
Golden State Jason Kidd St. Joseph Notre Dame (CA)
Golden State Jeremy Lin Palo Alto HS (CA)
Golden State Leon Powe Oakland Tech HS
Houston TJ Ford Willowridge HS (TX)
Houston Daniel Gibson Jones HS (TX)
Houston DeAndre Jordan Christian Life Center Academy
Houston Rashard Lewis Alief Elsik HS (TX)
Houston Emeka Okafor Bellaire (TX) HS
Houston Ronnie Price Clear Brook HS (TX)
Indianapolis Mike Conley Lawrence North HS (IN)
Indianapolis Eric Gordon North Central HS (IN)
Indianapolis Gordon Hayward Brownsburg (IN) HS
Indianapolis George Hill Broad Ripple HS (IN)
Indianapolis Courtney Lee Pike HS (IN)
Indianapolis Josh McRoberts Carmel HS (IN)
Indianapolis Greg Oden Lawrence North HS (IN)
Indianapolis Jeff Teague Pike HS (IN)
Los Angeles Aaron Afflalo Compton (CA) Centennial HS
Los Angeles Gilbert Arenas Grant (CA) HS
Los Angeles Trevor Ariza Westchester (CA) HS
Los Angeles Tyson Chandler Dominguez (CA) HS
Los Angeles Josh Childress Mayfair HS (CA)
Los Angeles Jason Collins Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
Los Angeles Darren Collinson Etiwanda HS (CA)
Los Angeles Baron Davis Crossroads School (CA)
Los Angeles Austin Daye Woodbridge HS (CA)
Los Angeles DeMar Derozan Compton (CA HS
Los Angeles Jordan Farmar Taft HS (CA)
Los Angeles Landry Fields Los Alamitos HS (CA)
Los Angeles James Harden Artesia HS (CA)
Los Angeles Jrue Holiday Campbell Hall School
Los Angeles Ryan Hollins John Muir HS (CA)
Los Angeles Brandon Jennings Oak Hill Academy
Los Angeles Eugene Jeter Junipero Serra HS
Los Angeles Amir Johnson Westchester (CA) HS
Los Angeles Jason Kapono Artesia HS (CA)
Los Angeles Andre Miller Verbum Dei HS (CA)
Los Angeles Paul Pierce Inglewood HS (CA)
Los Angeles Tayshaun Prince Dominguez (CA) HS
Los Angeles Craig Smith Fairfax HS (CA)
Los Angeles Russell Westbrook Leuzinger HS (CA)
Los Angeles Dorell Wright South Kent Prep (CT)
Los Angeles Nick Young Cleveland HS (CA)
Los Angeles Taj Gibson Calvary Christian HS (CA)
Memphis Sonny Weems West Memphis HS (AR)
Memphis Shawne Williams Laurinburg (NC) Institute
Memphis Thaddeus Young Mitchell HS (TN)
Miami Raja Bell Miami Killian HS
Miami Steve Blake Oak Hill Academy
Miami Keyon Dooling Dillard HS (FL)
Miami Udonis Haslem Miami Senior HS
Miami James Jones American Senior HS (FL)
Milwaukee Caron Butler Maine Central Institute (ME)
Milwaukee Devin Harris Wauwatosa East HS (WI)
Milwaukee Carl Landry Vincent HS (WI)
Milwaukee Steve Novak Brown Deer (WI) HS
Minneapolis Cole Aldrich Bloomington (MN) Jefferson HS
Minneapolis Kris Humphries Hopkins HS (MN)
Minneapolis Joel Pryzbilla Monticello (MN) HS
New Orleans DJ Augustin Brother Martin (LA) HS
New Orleans Chris Duhon Salmen HS (LA)
New Orleans Danny Granger Grace King HS (LA)
New Orleans Greg Monroe Helen Cox HS (LA)
New York Hilton Armstrong Peekskill (NY) HS
New York Ron Artest La Salle (NY) HS
New York Renaldo Balkman Laurinburg (NC) Institute
New York Marqus Blakely Metuchen (NJ) HS
New York Elton Brand Peekskill (NY) HS
New York Andrew Bynum St. Joseph’s (NJ)
New York Derrick Caracter Notre Dame Prep
New York Earl Clark Rahway (NJ) HS
New York Devin Ebanks St. Thomas More Academy (CT)
New York Gary Forbes Benjamin Banneker Academy (NY)
New York Randy Foye East Side HS (NJ)
New York Sundiata Gaines Archbishop Molloy HS (NY)
New York Ben Gordon Mount Vernon HS (NY)
New York Danny Green St. Mary’s (NY) HS
New York Al Harrington St. Patrick’s HS (NJ)
New York Royal Ivey Blair Academy
New York Troy Murphy Delbarton School (NJ)
New York Joakim Noah Lawrenceville School (NJ)
New York Lamar Odom St. Thomas Aquinas Prep (CT)
New York AJ Price Amityville Memorial HS (NY)
New York Samardo Samuels St. Benedict’s HS (NY)
New York JR Smith St. Benedict’s HS (NY)
New York Lance Stephenson Lincoln HS (NY)
New York Sebastian Telfair Lincoln HS (NY)
New York Charlie Villanueva Blair Academy
Oklahoma City Blake Griffin Oklahoma Christian School
Oklahoma City Xavier Henry Putnam City HS (OK)
Oklahoma City Darnell Jackson Midwest City HS (OK)
Oklahoma City Daniel Orton Bishop McGuinness HS (OK)
Oklahoma City Ekpe Udoh Edmond Santa Fe HS (OK)
Oklahoma City Shelden Williams Midwest City HS (OK)
Orlando Solomon Alabi Montverde (FL) Academy
Orlando Marquis Daniels Mt. Zion Christian (NC)
Orlando Solomon Jones Mount Dora HS (FL)
Orlando Jermaine Taylor Tavares HS (FL)
Orlando Damien Wilkins Dr. Phillips HS (FL)
Orlando Vince Carter Mainland (FL) HS
Philadelphia Malik Allen Shawnee (NJ) HS
Philadelphia Kobe Bryant Lower Marion (PA) HS
Philadelphia Rasual Butler Roman Catholic (PA)
Philadelphia Matt Carroll Hatboro-Horsham (PA) HS
Philadelphia Wayne Ellington Episcopal Academy (PA)
Philadelphia Tyreke Evans American Christian Academy (PA)
Philadelphia Richard Hamilton Coatesville Area HS (PA)
Philadelphia Gerald Henderson Episcopal Academy (PA)
Philadelphia Dahntay Jones Steinert HS (NJ)
Philadelphia Kyle Lowry Cardinal Dougherty HS (PA)
Philadelphia Jameer Nelson Chester HS (PA)
Philadelphia John Salmons Plymouth-Whitewash HS (PA)
Philadelphia Mustafa Shakur Friends Central School (PA)
Philadelphia Jason Thompson Lenape HS (NJ)
Philadelphia Hakim Warrick Friends Central School (PA)
Phoenix Jerryd Bayless St. Mary’s (AZ) HS
Phoenix Mike Bibby Shadow Mountain (AZ) HS
Phoenix Channing Frye St. Mary’s (AZ) HS
Phoenix Richard Jefferson Moon Valley HS (AZ)
Portland Mike Dunleavy Jesuit HS (OR)
Portland Kevin Love Lake Oswego HS (OR)
Sacramento Ryan Anderson Oak Ridge (CA) HS
San Antonio Jeff Foster James Madison HS (TX)
San Antonio Eduardo Najera Cornerstone Christian Academy (TX)
San Antonio Ben Uzoh Warren HS (TX)
Toronto Jamaal Magloire Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute
Washington Carmelo Anthony Oak Hill Academy
Washington Michael Beasley Notre Dame Prep
Washington Keith Bogans DeMatha Catholic
Washington Dante Cunningham St. John’s HS
Washington Rudy Gay Archbishop Spalding (MD)
Washington Jeff Green Northwestern HS (MD)
Washington Donte Greene Towson Catholic
Washington Roy Hibbert Georgetown Prep
Washington Grant Hill South Lakes HS (VA)
Washington Ty Lawson Oak Hill Academy
Washington Roger Mason Good Counsel HS (MD)
Washington Gary Neal Calvert Hall HS (MD)
Washington DaJuan Summers McDonough School (MD)
Washington Greivis Vasquez Montrose Christian (MD)
Washington Delonte West Roosevelt HS (DC)
Washington Sam Young Friendly HS (MD)
Washington Kevin Durant Oak Hill Academy
Washington Joey Dorsey Laurinburg (NC) Institute
Washington Jarrett Jack Worcester Academy

Think of the possibilities, fantasy ballers!

Peter A. Coclanis teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill and Alex Coclanis is a rising junior at the same school.