Chips off the old Bucks
Players’ sons have followed in fathers’ footsteps onto hardwood
The Milwaukee Bucks’ family tree produced two players who participated in the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four earlier this month.
Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III and sophomore center Jon Horford, whose fathers, Glenn II and Tito, played for the Bucks, helped the University of Michigan defeat Syracuse University 61-56 in the semifinals April 6 before falling to Louisville University 82-76 in the championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on April 8.
Since the Bucks’ inception in 1968, a number of their players have fathered sons who have achieved success on the basketball court, ranging from high school to college to the pro ranks.
The following is Part I of a review profiling the basketball careers of the some of the sons of former Bucks players:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr.
The eldest son of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sr., Kareem Jr., enjoyed an outstanding prep career at Brentwood (Calif.) High School, where he was named a second-team All-California Division V selection following his senior year. The 6-foot-5-inch forward originally attended Valparaiso University, then averaged 13.9 points and 7.5 rebounds for Santa Monica Junior College, where he became a first-team all-Western State Conference-South pick before transferring to Western Kentucky University to complete his collegiate career. He averaged 5.6 points per game in 36 appearances over two seasons with the Hilltoppers spanning 1997-99.
Sam Cassell Jr.
The son of Sam Cassell Sr. began his prep career at Towson Catholic High School in Baltimore (Md.), then tranferred to Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., where he emerged as a high-major college prospect, averaging 16 points in his senior season and scored 28 points against Brewster (N.H.) Academy in the National Prep semifinals. The 6-foot-4-inch guard signed with the University of Maryland, but did not qualify academically to attend the school. He moved on to Chipola (Fla.) College, where he redshirted this season.
The elder son of Len Chappell, who played for the Bucks from 1968-70, teamed with his younger brother, Jason, to help New Berlin West High School win the WIAA Division 2 state championship in 2000. John received a scholarship to the University of South Carolina, where he scored 75 points in 76 games over four seasons. He played the 2012-13 season for Sanatura-Escazu in Costa Rica, averaging 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. John previously played for ABA Strumica of FYR Macedonia, Aguada of Uruguay and LSU-Baltai of Lithuania.
The younger son of former Bucks forward Len Chappell was a teammate of his older brother, John, on New Berlin West High School’s WIAA Division 2 state title team in 2000. He earned a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where he played 89 games spanning 2002-07 and averaged 2.9 points per game over his Badgers career. The 6-foot-10-inch, 231-pound forward averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season for Klosterneub, a professional team in Austria.
The son of former Bucks forward Terry Cummings, T.J. starred at Homewood-Flosmoor High School in Illinois before moving on to play at UCLA for four seasons. He earned honorable-mention all-Pac 10 Conference honors as a senior and finished his career as UCLA’s 41st-ranking all-time scorer with 1,062 points. The 6-foot-9-inch forward spent the 2004-05 season playing for the Lioning Panpan Hunters in China, then was selected in the 2005 National Basketball Development League Draft by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. He averaged 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in his NBDL rookie campaign and helped the Thunderbirds won the league title. He later played for the NBDL's Los Angeles D-Fenders and Maine Red Claws.
The oldest son of 16-year National Basketball Association veteran Dell Curry, who played 42 games for Milwaukee in 1998-99, Stephen led the nation in scoring at 28.6 points per game during his junior and final season at Davidson College in 2008-09 and was a consensus first-team All-American. He was twice named Southern Conference Player of the Year and set all-time career scoring records for Davidson and the Southern Conference in just three seasons with the Wildcats. Curry was chosen with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. The 6-foot-3-inch guard averaged 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals during his first pro season, was a unanimous selection to the 2010 All-Rookie First Teamand was runner-up in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting to Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings. Stephen is averaging Is averaging a career-high 22.5 points and 6.9 assists per game this season, his fourth in the NBA.He is the league’s top active career 3-point shooter at .446.
Seth, Stephen Curry’s younger brother, began his college career at Liberty University, where he led all freshmen nationally in points per game scored with 20.2 per outing in 2008-09. He broke the Big South Conference single-season scoring record for a freshman. The 6-foot-2-inch guard transferred to Duke University following the season, and after sitting out a transfer year, he played 106 games for the Blue Devils over the next three seasons, averaging 13.2 points per game, including 17.5 as a senior in 2012-13. He made 223 of 531 3-point attempts (.420) during his Duke years. He was named to the Coaches All-ACC First Team for 2012-13.
Mike Dunleavy Jr.
The son of former Bucks player, coach and vice president of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Sr., Mike Jr. became a McDonald’s All-American following his senior season at Portland Jesuit High School and went on to play at Duke Univeristy from 1999–2002. As a sophomore, he played on Duke's national championship team and scored a team-high 21 points in the title game, including 3 three-pointers during a decisive 11–2 second-half Duke run. As a junior, he was a first-team NABC All-American, averaging 17.3 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game for the 31–4 Blue Devils. The 6-foot-9-inch forward was selected by the Golden State Warriors third overall in the 2002 NBA Draft. He spent five seasons with both the Warriors and Indiana Pacers,averaging a career-high 19.1 points a game in 2007-08 and shooting a career-best .424 from 3-point range that season. He signed a two-year contact with the Bucks in 2011., and is averaging 12.1 points per game over his 12 NBA seasons. Mike’s brothers Baker and James played at Villanova University and the University of Southern California, respectively.
Diante is the son of five-year NBA veteran Dick Garrett, who played 15 games for the Bucks in 1973-74 and has been a member of the Bradley Center security staff for the past 14 seasons. Diante starred at Milwaukee Vincent High School, leading the team to the WIAA Division 1 state title game as a senior. The 6-foot-4-inch guard went on to excel at Iowa State University, averaging better than 17 points and six assists as a senior in 2010-11. He was named second-team All-Big 12 Conference and USBWA All-District VI and ended his college career as Iowa State's all-time leader in games played (128), second in career assists (611) and 16th in career points (1,364). He is one of only three players in Big 12 history to amass 1,300 points and 600 assists in a career, joining Kirk Hinrich of Kansas and John Roberson of Texas Tech. Garrett has since played in Croatia and France, for the NBDL’s Bakersfield Jam and has seen action in 18 games for the Phoenix Suns through April 11, totaling 40 points and 28 assists.
Dan is the son of Ernie Grunfeld, who played for Milwaukee from 1977-79 and served as the Bucks’ general manager from 1999-2003. The 6-foot-6-inch forward/guard averaged 23.9 points per game during his senior campaign at Nicolet High School in 2001-02 and was named North Shore Conference Player of the Year and a first-team all-stater. He played the following four seasons at Stanford University, emerging in his junior year to average 17.9 points per game (fifth in the Pac 10 Conference) and earn first-team all-conference honors. He tore an anterior cruciate knee ligament in February of his junior season, but came back to average 12 points and 4.8 rebounds as a senior. He has since played professionally in Germany, Spain and Israel.
Gerald Henderson Jr.
Gerald Jr.’s father, Gerald Sr., played 13 seasons in the NBA, including 11 games during the 1989-90 season with Milwaukee. Gerald Jr. became a McDonald’s All-American, where he teamed with future University of North Carolina star and NBA player Wayne Ellington. Gerald Jr. became Ellington’s rival for the next three seasons while playing at Duke University, where he moved into the starting lineup by his sophomore campaign. The 6-foot-5-inch swingman averaged a team-leading 16.5 points per outing as a senior, was named first-team all-ACC and helped the Blue Devils won the ACC tournament. Henderson entered the 2009 NBA Draft and was chosen 12thoverall by the Charlotte Bobcats. He had a breakout season with Charlotte in 2011-12, averaging 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game. On March 12, 2013, he scored a career-high 35 points in a victory over the Boston Celtics.
Al is the son of Tito Horford, who spent two of his three NBA seasons with the Bucks, totaling 93 points through 60 games spanning 1988-90. Al set seven school records at Grand Ledge (Mich.) High School, including most career points, with 1,239. As a senior, he was Michigan’s Class A Player of The Year after averaging 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks. The 6-10 center played collegiately at the University of Florida, where he started on the teams that won back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2006 and 2007. He also plays for the Dominican Republic National Team. Al averaged 10.3 points and 7.9 rebounds over his three seasons in Gainesville and was selected with the third overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks and became a unanimous All-Rookie First-Team pick. He was an NBA All-Star in 2010 and 2011, and through six-plus NBA seasons, he is averaging 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He is putting up career-best numbers of 17.3 ppg and 10.1 rpg this season. Al’s older brother, Kelly, played at Florida Atlantic University from 1992-96; and his younger brother, Jon, is a 6-10 sophomore center at the University of Michigan, where he averaged 2.8 points a game for the Wolverines’ national runner-up team this season.
The son of Marques Johnson, who played for Milwaukee from 1977-84 and made four NBA All-Star Game appearances, Kristaan was named Los Angeles City Section Player of the Year and won two consecutive California state basketball championships while playing for his father’s alma mater, Crenshaw High School. He followed in his dad to UCLA, where the Bruins won an NCAA championship in his freshman season in 1995. The 6-foot-5-inch forward averaged a team-best 18.4 points per game as a senior, received all-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention and shared the team most valuable player award. He played eight years professionally in Russia, Qatar and Lebanon, helped his team win the Asian Basketball Confederation Champions Cup in 2002 and was named the tournament's MVP. He also played for the Quad City Thunder and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the Continental Basketball Association. Kris’ younger brother, Moriah, played college basketball at Tuskegee University.
Askia is the son of Wali Jones, who averaged 6.6 points per outing for the Bucks as a backup guard in 75 games from 1971-73. Askia, a 6-foot-5-inch guard, averaged 14.8 points per game over four seasons at Kansas State University and left the program as its third-leading all-time scorer. The highlight of his KSU career came on March 24, 1994, when he scored 62 points against Fresno State University in the 1994 National Invitation Tournament semifinals – the second-highest postseason scoring total in college basketball history. The 14 3-point goals Jones made in that game are a college postseason record. Jones was not drafted by a National Basketball Association team, but did play 11 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1994-95, averaging 4.1 points per game. He enjoyed a professional career that spanned almost two decades, taking his game to Venezuela, Brazil, Indonesia, The Philippines, Portugal, Cyprus and Spain.