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Russell Westbrook
RWestbrook.jpg
Westbrook on the UCLA campus.
Oklahoma City Thunder  – No. 0
Point guard
Born November 12, 1988 (1988-11-12) (age 21)
Long Beach, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 187 lb (85 kg)
League NBA
Salary $3,755,640
High school Leuzinger,
Lawndale, California
College UCLA
Draft 4th overall, 2008
Seattle SuperSonics
Pro career 2008–present
Awards 2009 NBA All-Rookie First Team
Profile Info Page

Russell Westbrook (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player currently playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. He was drafted by the Thunder's former incarnation, the Seattle SuperSonics which later relocated from Seattle, Washington to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was the starting point guard for the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team while Darren Collison was injured. When Collison returned, Westbrook moved to shooting guard.

He is known primarily for his athleticism, in the form of high flying dunks in transition and his lock down defense. A virtual no-name in his freshman year, averaging 3.4 points per game, his stats and his potential exploded in his sophomore year, when he averaged 12.5 points per game.

Contents

Early years

Westbrook was born in Long Beach, California to parents Russell Westbrook and Shannon Horton. He has one younger brother, Raynard, and has said that he admires former Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson.[1]

At Leuzinger High School, Westbrook led the team to a 25-4 overall record and to a CIF-SS Div. I-AA quarterfinal playoff appearance during his senior year. He averaged 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.3 assists. He also connected on 57 three-pointers and made 76.0 percent of his free throws. He collected 14 double-doubles, scored 30 or more points on eight occasions and registered a career-best 51 points at Carson on Jan. 6, 2006. He did not attract too much attention from top college basketball programs until Ben Howland offered him a scholarship to play for the UCLA Bruins. He was a high school teammate of current Miami Heat forward Dorell Wright while attending Leuzinger High School.

College

At his two years of playing for the UCLA Bruins, wearing #0, the team advanced to the Final Four. The Bruins lost to Memphis, 78-63, in 2008 and to Florida, 76-66, in 2007 Final Four semi-finals.

College Year GP GS SPG BPG RPG APG PPG FG% FT% 3P%
UCLA 2006-07 36 1 0.4 0.02 0.8 0.7 3.4 .457% .548% .409%
UCLA 2007-08 39 34 1.6 0.2 3.9 4.3 12.7 .465% .713% .338%

[2]

NBA

He was selected 4th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He signed with Oklahoma City on July 5, 2008 along with D. J. White.[3] He played with fellow Bruin Earl Watson on the Thunder team.

Westbrook was named the Western Conference Rookie of the month for December and February. In December, Westbrook averaged 15.5 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 5.1 RPG. In February, Westbrook averaged 20.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 6.1 RPG.[4]

On February 1, 2009, Westbrook set a career-high 34 points in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings.[5] He made 7 of 18 field goals and 20 of 22 free throws.[6] His 20 free throws were the most by a Kings opponent since the franchise relocated to Sacramento, California.[7]

He was also a candidate for the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest but lost in fan voting to the Spanish Rudy Fernandez.

On March 2, 2009 Westbrook recorded a triple double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was the first rookie to do so since Chris Paul in the 2005-06 season, and the third player in Sonics/Thunder franchise history: Art Harris 1968-69 and Gary Payton in 1990-91.[8]

Finished fourth in the 2008/09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting[9] behind Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), O. J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) and Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets). Westbrook was named to the NBA's all-rookie first team, along with fellow UCLA classmate Kevin Love, who was named to the second team.

Personal

It has been reported in various media biographies that he is the cousin of former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook. However, a July 2008 Daily Oklahoman article reported that when he was asked about his relationship with Brian, Russell Westbrook responded, "That's not my cousin."[10]

Awards and recognition

See also

References

External links

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