Zach LaVine

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Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine vs USC (cropped).jpg
LaVine driving to the basket in a game while at UCLA
No. 8 – Minnesota Timberwolves
Position Guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1995-03-10) March 10, 1995 (age 20)
Renton, Washington
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 183 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school Bothell (Bothell, Washington)
College UCLA (2013–2014)
NBA draft 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Pro career 2014–present
Career history
2014–present Minnesota Timberwolves
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Zachary LaVine (born March 10, 1995) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft with the 13th overall pick by the Timberwolves.

LaVine grew up in Washington, where he was honored as the state's top high school player. He played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. After one season at UCLA, he entered the NBA after being named one of the top freshmen in the Pacific-12 Conference. As a rookie with Minnesota, he won the league's Slam Dunk Contest.

Early life[edit]

LaVine was born in Renton, Washington, to athletic parents. His father, Paul, played American football professionally in the United States Football League (USFL) and National Football League (NFL), and his mother, CJ, was a softball player.[1][2] Around the age of five, LaVine developed an interest in basketball after watching Michael Jordan in Space Jam.[3] He later became a fan of Kobe Bryant, and modeled his game after his childhood idol.[4]

Lavine practiced playing in the family backyard, where his father had him repeatedly emulate the NBA's Three-Point Shootout.[3] He attended Bothell High School in Bothell, Washington.[1] Playing point guard, he was their primary ball handler. By his junior year, he had grown to 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), and he would practice dunking for hours in his backyard after his shooting routine would end.[3]

As a senior, he averaged 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, and was named the 2013 Associated Press Washington state player of the year and Washington Mr. Basketball.[1] He was also recognized nationally as a first-team Parade All-American.[5] Considered a five-star recruit by Scout.com, LaVine was listed as the No. 4 shooting guard and the No. 27 player in the nation in 2013.[6]

College career[edit]

On June 20, 2012, LaVine verbally committed to attending UCLA and playing for coach Ben Howland for the 2013 season.[7] After Howland was fired nine months later, LaVine considered staying in-state and attending the University of Washington instead. However, he decided to remain with UCLA and their new coach, Steve Alford; LaVine had inherited an affection for UCLA from his father, who grew up a fan of Bruins basketball while growing up in nearby San Bernardino, California.[8]

After a strong start to 2013–14 as the team's sixth man, featuring an impressive display of outside shooting and explosive dunks, the former point guard LaVine evoked memories of former Bruin Russell Westbrook's UCLA beginnings.[3] NBA draft pundits began ranking LaVine high on their projections for the 2014 NBA Draft if he declared himself eligible.[3][9] ESPN.com draft expert Chad Ford attributed LaVine's appeal to the Westbrook comparisons. At one point, Ford listed him as the 10th overall pick, while NBADraft.net ranked him fifth.[3] During the season, LaVine typically entered the game with coach Alford's freshman son, Bryce Alford, who usually handled the ball, while starter Kyle Anderson was the team's main facilitator.[3][10] During a six-game span beginning on January 26, 2014, he endured a shooting slump where he made just 7 of 36 shots from the field.[8] He averaged 9.4 points per game during the season, fourth best on the team, and his 48 three-point field goals made were the second most by a freshman in the school's history.[11] However, LaVine did not reach double-figures in scoring in 14 of the final 18 games,[12] and totaled just 11 points and was 0 for 8 on three-point attempts in the final five games.[13] Despite his late-season struggles, he was voted to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team,[14][15] and he was named with Bryce Alford as the team's most valuable freshmen.[11]

On April 16, 2014, he declared for the NBA draft, foregoing his final three years of college eligibility.[16]

NBA career[edit]

Minnesota Timberwolves (2014–present)[edit]

On June 26, 2014, LaVine was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft and signed his rookie scale contract on July 8, 2014.[17] The Timberwolves drafted him more for his long-term potential than for immediate returns.[18]

Over the first five games of the 2014–15 season, LaVine had played a total of just 12 minutes. But when an ankle injury sidelined starter Ricky Rubio indefinitely, LaVine became the starting point guard over veteran Mo Williams.[19][20] After being switched back to the bench by coach Flip Saunders in favor of Williams, LaVine scored 28 points in a 120–119 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on November 28. He was only the second teenager ever in the NBA to have at least 25 points and five assists as a reserve.[a] LaVine moved back into the starting lineup after back spasms sidelined Williams.[22] On December 6 against the San Antonio Spurs, Lavine had 22 points and 10 assists for his first double-double.[23] He became just the fourth teenage player to record a 20-point, 10-assist game in the NBA.[b]

Rubio returned in February 2015, resulting in a dip in playing time for LaVine. However, Williams was also traded that month to open up more opportunities.[25][26] During the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, Lavine won the Slam Dunk Contest to become the youngest champion since an 18-year-old Kobe Bryant in 1997.[27] He became a crowd favorite after his first dunk, which he performed while wearing Jordan's No. 23 jersey from the movie Space Jam.[28] With a perfect 50 on each of his first two dunks, Lavine was the first player since Dwight Howard in 2009 with a perfect score on multiple dunks.[29] Yahoo! Sports hailed him as "the most electrifying performer of All-Star Saturday Night... and, if we're being honest, in quite a number of years."[27] Lavine also participated in the Rising Stars Challenge that weekend.[30]

On April 11, 2015, Lavine had a season-best game with 37 points and 9 rebounds in a 101–110 loss to the Golden State Warriors.[31][32]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2014–15 Minnesota 77 40 24.7 .422 .341 .842 2.8 3.6 .7 .1 10.1
Career 77 40 24.7 .422 .341 .842 2.8 3.6 .7 .1 10.1

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The first was Kobe Bryant in 1997.[21]
  2. ^ He joined LeBron James, Dajuan Wagner, and Stephon Marbury.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Zach LaVine bio". UCLABruins.com. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kelley, Mason (November 30, 2011). "Bothell's Zach LaVine shoots for the top". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mays, Robert (February 27, 2014). "Swinging on the NBA Draft Yo-Yo". Grantland.com. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ Mizutani, Dane (November 28, 2014). "Three Questions With Zach LaVine". NBA.com. Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Allen, Percy (May 22, 2013). "Nigel Williams-Goss makes Parade All-America team". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ Zach LaVine Recruiting Profile
  7. ^ "Zach LaVine - UCLA Basketball's First 2013 Commitment". Jun 21, 2012. Retrieved Feb 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Wang, Jack (March 5, 2014). "UCLA basketball notes: Zach LaVine shaking off slump in time for Washington homecoming". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ UCLA's Zach LaVine is dunking his way to the NBA
  10. ^ Fuller, Marcus R. (June 27, 2014). "Timberwolves take UCLA's Zach LaVine with 13th pick of NBA draft". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "UCLA Basketball Announces Year-End Honors at Team Banquet". UCLA Athletics. May 5, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  12. ^ Wang, Jack (March 28, 2014). "UCLA freshman Zach LaVine to declare for NBA draft". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ Wang, Jack (April 3, 2014). "UCLA men’s basketball gains and losses in Steve Alford’s first season". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. 
  14. ^ Kartje, Ryan (March 10, 2014). "Anderson, Adams named to All-Pac-12 first team". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ "2013-14 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Honors" (Press release). Pac-12 Conference. March 10, 2014. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ UCLA's Zach LaVine Declares for NBA Draft , UCLABruins.com, April 16, 2014
  17. ^ Timberwolves Sign First-Round Pick Zach LaVine
  18. ^ Helfand, Zach (December 19, 2014). "Tracking UCLA's first-round NBA picks in 2014". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. 
  19. ^ Zgoda, Jerry (November 10, 2014). "Wolves place trust in LaVine". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ Harper, Zach (November 12, 2014). "Zach LaVine approaches surprise point guard role with confidence". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ Aschburner, Steve (November 29, 2014). "STARS ALIGN FOR WOLVES’ ROOKIE LAVINE". NBA.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ Zgoda, Jerry (December 8, 2014). "Williams out, Muhammad intends to play vs. Warriors". The Star Tribune. Archived from the original on December 9, 2014. 
  23. ^ Youngblood, Kent (December 6, 2014). "Spurs handle Wolves smoothly". The Star Tibune. Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. 
  24. ^ Youngblood, Kent (December 6, 2014). "Wolves take a step back in loss to Spurs". The Star Tribune. Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. 
  25. ^ Greder, Andy (February 28, 2015). "Timberwolves' Zach LaVine recognizes ins, outs of playing time". Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on March 8, 2015. 
  26. ^ Hawkins, Stephen (February 3, 2015). "Mavs win 100-94 without Rondo in Rubio's return to Wolves". NBA.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 8, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b Devine, Dan (February 15, 2015). "Zach LaVine explodes on national stage, wins 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk". yahoo.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. 
  28. ^ Hoffman, Benjamin (February 15, 2015). "Zach LaVine, With Nod to Michael Jordan, Soars to Victory in Slam Dunk Contest". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Zach LaVine earns top-dunks honors". ESPN.com. February 15, 2015. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Dieng, LaVine, Muhammad and Wiggins to Represent Wolves in 2015 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge". NBA.com. January 28, 2015. Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Curry, Warriors too much for Timberwolves". NBA.com. April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Zach LaVine Shines Scoring Career-High 37-Points". YouTube.com. April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]