The last time a graduate of St. Patrick (N.J.) High School was selected in the NBA draft, that player went on to win the NBA's Rookie of the Year award. If Kentucky wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist performs the way many NBA scouts believe he will in 2012-13, he'll have a chance to make it two consecutive years of a St. Patrick alum becoming the league's ROY.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving earned that prestigious honor in 2011-12, the latest in an impressive recent line of players to come from the same high school in Elizabeth, N.J. It's a list that also includes Al Harrington, Samuel Dalembert and Derrick Caracter. The handful of pro players from St. Patrick is an even rarer feat when you consider that at last count, in 2009-10, the institution's enrollment was only 210 students.
The consensus among various draft websites on Kidd-Gilchrist is that he is virtually a lock to be a solid contributor to an NBA team immediately, not requiring a few years to make a smooth transition to the league. However, analysts are also uncertain if he has the ability to become a franchise-changer or dominant player - which would seemingly be a prerequisite to be chosen in the top few picks of the draft.
"Though he doesn't have the typical upside of a top 2-5 pick, he poses zero risk when you consider his intangibles and physical tools," assessed NBADraft.net, which compares Kidd-Gilchrist to versatile forwards Gerald Wallace and Andre Iguodala. "Instead of saying he has a low ceiling, it's more appropriate to say he has a high basement. There's not a team in the league that doesn't have a need for what MKG brings to the table. He's a two-way player that can contribute in a number of a different ways, and while he's not going to compete for any scoring titles, his strengths can inspire teammates and energize a fan base."
"Some teams wonder if he'll be an aggressive enough scorer at the next level," ESPN.com's Chad Ford wrote. "But for the most part, the NBA talent evaluators are sold."
*The information and opinions expressed about players referenced in this section are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the Hornets organization's preferences for the June 28 NBA Draft.