Guard, Basketball, Oklahoma City Thunder®
Russell Westbrook grew up admiring Earvin “Magic” Johnson while playing in Long Beach, California, for Leuzinger High School. He was a talented young player but was not a starter until his junior year, largely because he was still only 5’8″. After growing 5 inches before his senior year, he started attracting a lot of attention from college scouts and eventually decided to settle on UCLA®, his hometown team.
In his first year at UCLA®, Russell (who wore number 0) played backup to an all-star lineup. He had to fight for minutes and make the most of his opportunities to earn recognition and gain more playing time on the court. In his second season, an injury to a teammate opened the door to more playing time and once he got his chance, he shined. He helped guide the team to another Final Four finish and cemented his status as one of the hottest young prospects in the game.
After just two seasons at UCLA®, Russell made himself eligible for the 2008 draft and was selected fourth overall by the Seattle Supersonics® (now the Oklahoma City Thunder®), and in just a few short years, he’s helped turn the franchise into a serious contender and playoff threat.
Russell was the first rookie since the 2006-07 season to record a triple double, adding to that total ever since, and he’s one of only five players in NBA® history to record at least 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds in their first three seasons.
Wearing the number 0 is a constant source of motivation for an athlete who had to work his way to the top. Today, his steadfast commitment and dedication to honing his craft have already made Russell one of the top stars in the NBA®.
NBA® is owned by NBA Properties, Inc. UCLA® is owned by Regents of the University of California.Seattle Supersonics® is owned by The Professional Basketball Club, LLC. Oklahoma City Thunder® is owned by The Professional Basketball Club, LLC.
NBA® is owned by NBA Properties, Inc. FIBA® is owned by FIBA, Fédération Internationale de Basketball Association.
Six Star® athlete Russell Westbrook talks about the first slam dunk in his high school years in this edition of Journey to the Pros.
Watch the untold story of Russell Westbrook on draft day. Plus, see how he has embraced the move to Oklahoma City in this edition of Journey to the Pros.
Watch as Oklahoma City Thunder® guard Russell Westbrook outlines the training program he followed growing up. Also discover the most influential people that helped shape his career in this edition of Journey to the Pros.