49ers in the NBA
BY: ALEX CAMPOS
When James Ennis was drafted in June by the Atlanta Hawks, he joined the list of Long Beach State alumni that have heard their name called by an NBA team on draft day. We decided to look at three notable Long Beach State basketball alumni that have played in the NBA. Some went on to have long careers, some not so much, but all of them left a legacy that all 49ers strive to leave.
- Age: 42
- CSULB Position: Forward (1990-1993).
- Russell was 45th pick in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz.
- He played with the Jazz, Washington Wizards, LA Lakers, and Denver Nuggets.
- He played with two of the all time greats, Karl Malone and John Stockton.
- Unfortunately, Utah Jazz had to face Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls for the NBA championship. Russell was guarding Jordan in Game 5 of the 1998 NBA Finals when Jordan made his game-winning shot.
- LBSU retired his number 32 jersey in 2010.
- Age: 40
- CSULB Position: Forward (1993-1996).
- He was undrafted, but signed a contract with the Lakers in 1996, which was when Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal joined the team. Unfortunately, Hawkins didn’t make the team.
- He played with the Harlem Globetrotters and in the CBA, ABA and IBL before finally making an NBA team in 2002.
- In the 2002-2003 season, the Houston Rockets signed Hawkins and he played in 58 games, starting 10 of them.
- Age: 42
- CSULB Position: Guard (1989-1993).
- 28th pick in the 1993 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks.
- Played with the Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers in 12 NBA seasons. -Played in the 2002-2003 finals with the Nets, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
- That was his best offensive season, where he averaged 10.3 points per game.
- LBSU retired his number 30 in 2007.