When asked about his teammate and NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies All-Star forward Zach Randolph told ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne, “we crack jokes sometimes about what he used to [look like] in high school.”
So here’s Marc Gasol in high school:
It’s good to know that even the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, like so many of us, went through an awkward adolescent phase.
Then again, Marc Gasol, unlike most of the rest of us who were awkward teenagers, was averaging 26 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks per game in high school.
Gasol spent his childhood in Spain and began his professional career there, but he played high school ball in Tennessee. The Gasol family moved to the Memphis suburb of Germantown when older brother Pau began his NBA career with the Grizzlies.
The younger Gasol attended Lausanne Collegiate High School in Memphis, where he was named 2003 Division II Mr. Basketball in the state of Tennessee. Division II in Tennessee is the classification for private schools that offer financial aid to athletes. There are only 45 Division II schools, but they tend to attract a disproportionate number of elite players.
According to Scout.com, Gasol was a two-star recruit who had expressed interest in playing at the University of Memphis but did not receive a scholarship offer from the Tigers. So he returned to Spain and spent five seasons with FC Barcelona Bàsquet and CB Sant Josep. The Los Angeles Lakers drafted him in the second round of the 2007 NBA draft, then traded his draft rights to Memphis in a deal for Gasol’s big brother Pau. He made his debut with the Grizzlies in 2008.
Now Marc Gasol is an NBA All-Star (2012), an All-Defensive selection (2013), and the league’s Defensive Play of the Year. He’ll likely make an All-NBA Team this season, and his Grizzlies are now headed to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.