1999–2000 NBA season
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the 54th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, beating the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2 in the 2000 NBA Finals. Effective this season, the first game of the NBA regular season begins on either the first Tuesday of November or the last Tuesday of October, the last game on the third Wednesday of April; the NBA playoffs begin on the third Saturday of April. The 2000 NBA All-Star Game held in California; the West won 137–126. Tim Duncan from the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers shared the game's MVP honors; the Slam Dunk Contest returned after a two-year absence, with Vince Carter winning the title in what is considered to be one of the best Dunk Contest performances of all time. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers played their first games at the Staples Center; the Lakers would go on to win 19 consecutive games between February 4, 2000, March 16, 2000, the sixth-longest winning streak in NBA history.
Staples Center's first season saw its tenants at two opposite ends of the league: the Lakers finished with a best regular season record of 67–15 and the NBA title, while the Clippers finished 15–67, the worst of the season. The Denver Nuggets played their first game at the Pepsi Center; the Indiana Pacers played their first game at the Conseco Fieldhouse. The Indiana Pacers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history; the Atlanta Hawks played their first game at the Philips Arena. The Miami Heat started the season playing their home games at Miami Arena. In January, they played their first game at the AmericanAirlines Arena; the Toronto Raptors played their first full season at the Air Canada Centre. They made the playoffs for the first time becoming the first Canadian team to do so. During Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers held a 75-60 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left to play. During the fourth quarter, the Blazers would miss thirteen consecutive shots, allowing the Lakers to claw back and take the game, 89–84.
The game was capped off with a famous alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal from Kobe Bryant. Two active players were killed in automobile accidents within four months of each other. On January 12, Bobby Phills of the Charlotte Hornets was killed as a result of reckless driving while racing against teammate David Wesley. On May 20, Malik Sealy of the Minnesota Timberwolves was driving home from a birthday party being held for Kevin Garnett when his SUV was struck by a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road. Phills would have his jersey retired during the season after news of his unexpected death was announced, while Sealy would have his jersey retired after this season concluded. San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott was sidelined for most of the season while undergoing kidney transplant operations, he returned on March 13, becoming the first player to return following kidney transplant. The Boston Celtics retired their trademark parquet floor on December 22, 1999, after 54 years; the floor would be replaced by a replica combining elements of the old floor and new wooden sections.
Doc Rivers became the first recipient of the NBA Coach of the Year Award to have not led his team to the playoffs. He coached the Orlando Magic to a respectable 41-41 record, good enough for the 9th seed in the East The season marked Patrick Ewing's last in a New York Knicks uniform, he was traded during the 2000 offseason to the Seattle SuperSonics in a three-team deal. Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain died on October 12, 1999, at 63. Wilt's former teams, the Lakers and Warriors honored him by sporting black patches for the rest of the season. Kevin Johnson returned from retirement to replace the injured Jason Kidd of Phoenix Suns in this season's playoffs, but the Suns fell to the Lakers in the second round and Johnson would retire again. 36-year-old Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley suffered a devastating injury early in the season but returned for a final game before retiring. The Atlanta Hawks changed their uniforms; the Cleveland Cavaliers changed their uniforms. The Denver Nuggets moved into the Pepsi Center.
The Detroit Pistons added new maroon alternate uniforms. The Indiana Pacers moved into the Conseco Fieldhouse; the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers both moved into the Staples Center, while the Lakers changed their uniforms. The Miami Heat changed their logo and uniforms, moved into the AmericanAirlines Arena in January; the Philadelphia 76ers added new blue alternate uniforms. The Seattle SuperSonics added new red alternate uniforms; the Toronto Raptors changed their uniforms removing the pinstripes. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record.
* Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers Co-Rookies of the Year: Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science and Technology referred to as Iowa State, is a public land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames, United States. It is the largest university in the state of Iowa and the third largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference. Iowa State is classified as a research university with "highest research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Iowa State is a member of the Association of American Universities, which consists of 60 leading research universities in North America. Founded in 1858 and coeducational from its start, Iowa State became the nation's first designated land-grant institution when the Iowa Legislature accepted the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act on September 11, 1862, making Iowa the first state in the nation to do so. Iowa State's academic offerings are administered today through eight colleges, including the graduate college, that offer over 100 bachelor's degree programs, 112 master's degree programs, 83 at the Ph.
D. level, plus a professional degree program in Veterinary Medicine. Iowa State University's athletic teams, the Cyclones, compete in Division I of the NCAA and are a founding member of the Big 12 Conference; the Cyclones have won numerous NCAA national championships. In 1856, the Iowa General Assembly enacted legislation to establish the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm; this institution was established on March 22, 1858, by the General Assembly. Story County was chosen as the location on June 21, 1859, beating proposals from Johnson, Kossuth and Polk counties; the original farm of 648 acres was purchased for a cost of $5,379. Iowa was the first state in the nation to accept the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862. Iowa subsequently designated Iowa State as the land-grant college on March 29, 1864. From the start, Iowa Agricultural College focused on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all and that the university should teach liberal and practical subjects; these ideals are integral to the land-grant university.
The institution was coeducational from the first preparatory class admitted in 1868. The formal admitting of students began the following year, the first graduating class of 1872 consisted of 24 men and two women; the Farm House, the first building on the Iowa State campus, was completed in 1861 before the campus was occupied by students or classrooms. It became the home of the superintendent of the Model Farm and in years, the deans of Agriculture, including Seaman Knapp and "Tama Jim" Wilson. Iowa State's first president, Adonijah Welch stayed at the Farm House and penned his inaugural speech in a second floor bedroom; the college's first farm tenants primed the land for agricultural experimentation. The Iowa Experiment Station was one of the university's prominent features. Practical courses of instruction were taught, including one designed to give a general training for the career of a farmer. Courses in mechanical, civil and mining engineering were part of the curriculum. In 1870, President Welch and I. P. Robert, professor of agriculture, held three-day farmers' institutes at Cedar Falls, Council Bluffs and Muscatine.
These became the earliest institutes held off-campus by a land grant institution and were the forerunners of 20th century extension. In 1872, the first courses were given in domestic economy and were taught by Mary B. Welch, the president's wife. Iowa State became the first land grant university in the nation to offer training in domestic economy for college credit. In 1879, the "School" of Veterinary Science was organized, the first state veterinary college in the United States; this was a two-year course leading to a diploma. The veterinary course of study contained classes in zoology, anatomy of domestic animals, veterinary obstetrics, sanitary science. William M. Beardshear was appointed President of Iowa State in 1891. During his tenure, Iowa Agricultural College came of age. Beardshear developed new agricultural programs and was instrumental in hiring premier faculty members such Anson Marston, Louis B. Spinney, J. B. Weems, Perry G. Holden, Maria Roberts, he expanded the university administration, the following buildings were added to the campus: Morrill Hall.
In his honor, Iowa State named its central administrative building after Beardshear in 1925. In 1898, reflecting the school's growth during his tenure, it was renamed Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts, or Iowa State for short. Today, Beardshear Hall holds the following offices: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Registrar and student financial aid. Catt Hall is named after famed alumna Carrie Chapman Catt and is the home of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 1912 Iowa State had its first Homecoming celebration; the idea was first proposed by Professor Samuel Beyer, the college's “patron saint of athletics,” who suggested that Iowa State inaugurate a celebration for alumni during the annual football game against rival University of Iowa. Iowa State's new president, Raymond A. Pearson, liked the idea and issued a special invitation to alumni two weeks prior to the event: “We need you, we must have you. Come and see what a school you have made in Iowa State College.
Find a way.” In October 2012 Iowa State marked its 100th Homecoming with a "CYtennial" Celebration. Iowa State celebrated its first VEISHEA on
Lithonia is a city in eastern DeKalb County, United States. The city's population was 1,924 at the 2010 census. Lithonia is in the Atlanta metropolitan area. "Lithonia" means "city/town of stone". Lithonia is in the heart of the Georgian granite-quarrying and viewing region, hence the name of the town, from the Greek λίθος lithos, for stone; the huge nearby granite dome, Stone Mountain, is composed of a rock called Lithonia gneiss, a form of granite. The area has a history of rock quarries; the mines were served by Atlanta, Stone Mountain & Lithonia Railway. Some of the rock quarries have been converted to parkland and the rail lines to rail-trail. Lithonia is one of the gateways to the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, contained inside Stonecrest, GA. Lithonia is located in southeastern DeKalb County at 33°42′46″N 84°6′21″W. Interstate 20 passes just south of the community, with access from Exits 74 and 75. Lithonia is 18 miles east of the center of Atlanta; some areas in extreme southern Gwinnett County use a Lithonia postal address near the county line.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.89 square miles, all land. In 1805, Lithonia began as a small crossroads settlement of farmers; the town grew with the coming of the Atlanta Augusta Railroad in 1845, which allowed the granite quarrying industry in the area to flourish. Lithonia is the birthplace of the Lithonia Lighting company, one of North America's largest manufacturers of commercial, institutional and residential light fixtures, founded in the city in 1946 but moved to nearby Conyers in the 1950s. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a megachurch, known for many high-profile funerals, is located in Stonecrest, GA, near Lithonia; the Lithonia Historic District consists of a commercial core surrounded by residential areas, with a period of significance spanning from 1845 to 1964. Stylistic influences in the district include Second Empire, Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Neoclassical Revival, English Vernacular Revival and Colonial Revival; the district is bisected by the Georgia/CSX Railroad, which runs perpendicular to the historic commercial core's primary thoroughfare, Main Street.
The commercial area extends south from the intersection of Main Street and the railroad, covering a two-block area. The commercial buildings are brick and local granite masonry, with little decorative detailing. Commercial styles include single retail, multiple retail, retail and office types. Within the historic district, there is some non-historic infill construction such as the 1968 Lithonia Plaza shopping center; the residential areas consist architecture typical of late 19th- to mid 20th-century types and styles. Residential neighborhoods feature locally quarried granite and gneiss. House types and styles include the central hall Georgian cottage, gabled-wing cottage, Queen Anne cottage, New South cottage, pyramid cottage, Ranch house, I-House and Queen Anne house. Landmark properties include the Masonic Lodge, The Lithonia Women's Club, the Lithonia First United Methodist Church, Antioch Baptist Church, Lithonia Presbyterian Church, The Union Missionary Church, the Bruce Street equalization school, The Seminary.
Contributing sites in the district include two cemeteries, two parks, the former Georgia Railroad Quarry, the ruins of the Bruce Street School for African-Americans. The district is significant under National Register criterion A and C, with areas of significance in Architecture and European Ethnic Heritage, Community Planning and Development and Transportation. Lithonia's city population was 19,024 at the 2010 census, over 799 households, 560 families residing in the city; the population density is about 19,024 inhabitants per square mile. There were 892 housing units at an average density of 1,129.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 84.3% Black, 8.5% White, 0.05% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.42% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.8% of the population. There were 799 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.3% were married couples living together, 22.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.9% were non-families.
15.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.25. In the city, the population was spread out with 34.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, 11.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 76.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over there were 63.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $53,397, the median income for a family was $54,792. Males had a median income of $29,500 versus $24,788 for females; the per capita income for the city was $10,605. About 12.6% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under the age of 18 and 25.7% of those 65 and older. The unincorporated communities located outside the city limits make up 75% of the population estimated at over 15,000 inhabitants. Neighborhoods are broken into two ZIP codes: 30058 which includes the City proper, communities directly outside the city limit, 30038 located south of Interstate 20 which includes some of the most affluent neighborhoods in DeKalb County.
Lithonia is near to a super-regional shopping center, the Mall at Stonecrest (also known as
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama nicknamed "South" is a public, national research university in Mobile, United States. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in May, 1963, replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. USA is divided into ten colleges and schools and includes one of Alabama's two state-supported medical schools; as of the fall semester of 2018, South Alabama has an enrollment of 14,834 students. To date, the university has awarded over 90,000 degrees. USA has an annual payroll of more than $400 million, with over 6,000 employees, is the second largest employer in Mobile; the University of South Alabama has an annual economic impact of US$3 billion. The university offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in schools. Several programs offer masters level degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees. Doctoral level degrees are offered in several areas, including Business Administration, Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Instructional Design, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Marine Science, Physical Therapy, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree offered in collaboration with Auburn University.
The psychology doctoral program was initiated in 2009 and offers a Combined degree, emphasizing both Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology. USA offers classes in nearby Baldwin County at its Fairhope campus, opened its new Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores. In all, undergraduate students at South Alabama can choose from more than 50 bachelor's degree and certificate programs while there are more than 40 master's degree programs; as of 2011, USA ranks as the 22nd best public university in the southern United States, 52nd overall. It has an acceptance rate of 86.5%. The student-faculty ratio at USA is 18:1, the school has 44.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. USA students are 43 % male; as of 2014 the university maintains a 43% six year average graduation rate for four-year courses. As of 2018, the university maintains an 18% four year graduation rate; the University of South Alabama has ten colleges: Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions College of Arts and Sciences Mitchell College of Business College of Education and Professional Studies College of Engineering College of Medicine Doctor of Pharmacy Program College of Nursing School of Computing Honors College Graduate School The University is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by and including the governor of Alabama.
The Board appoints a president of the University. Since the founding of the University, there have been three presidents: Frederick Palmer Whiddon and V. Gordon Moulton. John W. Smith, the current executive vice president, served as an interim president until the arrival of Tony G. Waldrop in 2014; the Jaguars participate in 17 NCAA sanctioned sports, are founding members of the Sun Belt Conference. Men's sports include Football, Baseball, Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field. Women's sports include Basketball, Soccer, Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Golf. All sports participate in a Division I/FBS conference; the school is referred to as "South", "USA", or the "Jags", but the more formal South Alabama is used as well. The university announced the creation of a NCAA sanctioned football team on December 6, 2007, with the goal of fast tracking the program to full FBS status by the 2013 season; the school's first game was played on September 5, 2009 in front of 26,000+ fans.
The Jaguars football team is led by head coach Steve Campbell. The Jaguars lost at NC State 35-13 during the 2011 football season, the program's first game against a FBS opponent and its first loss after going a combined 19-0 during its first 2+ seasons. While the games for the football team are played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, South is in the middle of constructing an on campus stadium, Hancock Whitney Stadium, it is scheduled to open in September of 2020. The Jaguars have future football contests scheduled with Mississippi St, NC State, Navy, Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma St, South Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, including home contests with Mississippi State, NC State, Oklahoma State, Louisiana Tech and Navy; the Jaguars include current players David Freese, both the 2011 National League Championship Series MVP and 2011 World Series MVP for the St. Louis Cardinals, Juan Pierre, a World Series winner with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Coach Steve Kittrell retired at the end of the 2011 season and handed over the position to the coach in waiting, Mark Calvi, on staff for that final year.
Calvi was the pitching coach at the University of South Carolina when the Gamecocks won the College World Series in 2010. The basketball program has reached the NCAA tournament eight times, with its only win coming against the University of Alabama in 1989; the Jaguars have been beaten by the eventual national champion 3 of those 8 times, with the Michigan loss occurring in the second round. Beta/Gamma Community consists of fifteen small buildings containing one-person, two-person, four-person apartments. Epsilon Community contains both non-traditional residence halls. Epsilon 1 and Epsilon 2 are traditional halls housing first-time freshmen Learning Communities; the non-traditional residence hall of Delta 6 has a kitchenette in every room for freshmen and upperclassmen. A total of 471 residents live in this com
Juwan Antonio Howard is an American former professional basketball player, an assistant coach for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. Howard played for the Heat from 2010 until 2013. A one-time All-Star and one-time All-NBA power forward, he began his NBA career as the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft, selected by the Washington Bullets. Before he was drafted, he starred as an All-American on the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team. At Michigan he was part of the Fab Five recruiting class of 1991 that reached the finals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship in 1992 and 1993. Howard won his first NBA championship with Miami in the 2012 NBA Finals and his second NBA championship in the 2013 NBA Finals. Howard was an honors student at Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Michigan was able to sign him early over numerous competing offers and convince others in his recruiting class to join him; the Fab Five, which included Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, served as regular starters during their freshman and sophomore years for the 1991–92 and 1992–93 Wolverines.
Howard was the last member of the Fab Five to remain active as a professional basketball player. Although many of the Wolverines' accomplishments from 1992 to 1998 were forfeited due to the University of Michigan basketball scandal, which involved booster payments to players to launder money from illegal gambling, Howard's 1993–94 All-American season continues to be recognized. Howard has played six-and-a-half seasons for the Bullets franchise, three full seasons for the Houston Rockets, two plus seasons for the Heat and shorter stints for several other teams. During his rookie year with the Bullets, he became the first player to graduate on time with his class after leaving college early to play in the NBA. After one season as an All-Rookie player and a second as an All-Star and an All-NBA performer, he became the first NBA player to sign a $100 million contract. While he continued to be a productive starter, he was never again selected to play in an All-Star Game. Towards the end of his contract, he was traded at the NBA trade deadline twice to make salary cap room.
He was most a regular starter during the 2005–06 NBA season. In 2010, he signed with the Heat and entered his 17th NBA season, during which he reached the playoffs for the sixth time and made his first career NBA Finals appearance, he remained with the Heat the following season and won his first NBA championship during the 2012 NBA Finals. He returned to the Heat for part of the following season, won a second championship. Howard has developed a reputation as a humanitarian for his civic commitment. Howard's grandmother, Jannie Mae Howard, was the daughter of sharecroppers from Belzoni, Mississippi, she had four daughters including Howard's mother Helena. Helena was an employee at a Chicago restaurant. Howard's father, Leroy Watson, had just returned from the Army to a phone company job in Chicago; the two married once they realized Helena was pregnant. For Howard's first week of life, his high school junior mother kept him in a drawer at Jannie Mae's house. Helena, 17 years old, did not want to be restricted or burdened raising her child, so Jannie Mae adopted him.
His biological father, Leroy Watson Jr. wanted to name him Leroy Watson, III, but his grandmother rejected the suggestion, insisting on Juwan Antonio Howard. Although his mother visited on occasion as he was growing up, his grandmother raised him, along with two cousins. Howard is not close to his biological parents, he moved with her to several low-income Chicago South Side projects. One of their residences was a three-bedroom apartment on 69th Street on the South Side of Chicago; as he blossomed under his grandmother's influence and discipline, he became her "pride and joy". Howard went to Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where he went on to play three seasons of varsity basketball. Vocational had an unheated gym and no locker rooms, which required that the team dress for games in a history classroom. Nonetheless, Howard went on to be named a 1991 All-American basketball player by Parade magazine and won McDonald's All American honors, he was chosen for the National Honor Society and served as Vocational's homecoming king.
During recruiting visits by college coaches such as Illinois' Lou Henson, DePaul's Joey Meyer and Michigan's Steve Fisher, Jannie Mae Howard did most of the questioning. At the start of his sophomore year in 1988, Howard was 15 years old and expected to be a coveted blue chip recruit in 1991, he was regarded as one of the best sophomore basketball players in the Chicago metropolitan area. He scored 26 points in a Chicago Public High School League quarterfinal loss against a Deon Thomas-led Simeon Career Academy team. Vocational ended the year with a 23–7 record. Howard was a second-team selection and the only sophomore named to the league coaches' 20-man 1988–89 All-Public League team; the summer after his sophomore year, the 6-foot-8-inch center attended the Nike Academic Betterment and Career Development camp, held annually in Princeton, New Jersey, during the late 1980s. There he was matched against the 7-foot-4-inch Shawn Bradley. At this camp though the much-taller Bradley blocked his shots several times, Howard established himself as one of the best junior-year big men in the country.
He was involved in controversy for receiving a second pair of sneakers at the camp because he was suspected of stealing t
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te