From Nevada to Austin to Boston
It was a shame that this superstar could only stay one year at the helm of the Texas Longhorns. The skill set Avery Bradley was capable of showing as an 18-year-old kid, against some of the nation's best competition, was incredible.
As the No. 4 recruit in the country coming out of high school in 2009, Bradley was part of a recruiting crew that rivaled the fabled Durant and Augustin class of 2007. At Texas, he was known for his dynamic point guard play that complimented everybody. A great outside shooter and inside presence, Bradley was able to elevate the play of those around him.
High School Hero
Avery was the first of many Findlay Prep discoveries by Rick Barnes. Later followed by Tristan Thompson, Corey Joseph, and Myck Kabongo, Avery created the trend of success in this Nevada college preparatory, and then leading success at the 40 acres. The only difference between him and the other eventual Longhorns from Findlay Prep: he wasn’t Canadian.
Bradley led Findlay Prep to the National High School Basketball Championship, pitted against legendary Oak Hill Academy, and won 56-53. He followed up the championship with an invite to the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Game, where he won the dunk contest. Yes, you read the last line correctly, the 6’2” point guard won the dunk contest.
Freshman at Texas
Under Rick Barnes, Bradley saw immediate playing time, starting all but two games, and averaging just under 30 minutes per game.
Bradley might have been the youngest player on the court for the 'Horns, but he was also one of the most dynamic players, night-in and night-out. With his combination of terrific perimeter play and inside game, along with a tenacity on defense (he averaged more rebounds than assists), Bradley developed into a natural leader his freshman year.
Most of all, Bradley was able to stay consistent the entire season with a dwindling 2009-10 Texas basketball team. When the Longhorns needed a leader, Bradley was there to be the chief on the court.
Life After Texas and Career in the NBA
“With the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics select: Avery Bradley of The University of Texas.” - NBA Commissioner David Stern
After being selected 19th overall, Bradley signed his rookie deal with the Celtics, however, he didn’t see success right away. On January 14th, 2010, his first year in the NBA, Avery was assigned to the D-league to improve as an all around guard. Then, less than a month later, Bradley was called up in response to Marquis Daniels’ spinal injury. Bradley seized the opportunity and was never demoted again.
In 2012, his third season in the professional ranks, Bradley made a name for himself in Boston. He went from averaging less than six minutes per game in the previous season, to starting 28-of-64 games and averaging 7.6 ppg in 2012. As the season progressed, so did his play. He started every playoff game for the Celtics, contributing over 24 minutes per game.
Avery may have only given the Longhorns one year in the Frank Erwin Center, but what a year it was. Bradley was electrifying on the court, and gave all the effort he could, and that’s what earns him this week’s Tradition Tuesday. Hook 'em Avery!
Tradition Tuesday Archive
- Texas Football Offensive Legend Major Applewhite
- Texas Floor General and Current OKC Thunder Point Guard Royal Ivey
- Texas Longhorns 2000-2003 Receiving Core, The “Big 3″
- The Primetime Tony Jeffery
- Offensive Sparkplug Daniel “Boobie” Gibson
- Longhorns Strong Safety Nathan Vasher
- Jordan Shipley, The Man with the Magnet Hands