In 2003, the Miami Heat drafted Dwyane Wade with their first-round selection. Little did they know, an undrafted free-agent signing that same year would have a tremendous impact on the franchise as well.
For the past nine seasons, forward Udonis Haslem has played his way into becoming the franchise's all-time leading rebounder. In addition, he's been on the team alongside Wade for Miami's two NBA championship rings.
Haslem tells Bleacher Report he never could've written his story any better—having grown up, played college basketball and become a successful NBA player all in his home state of Florida.
Heat teammate James Jones has a similar story.
Jones, a three-point specialist, was also born in the Sunshine State and attended the University of Miami to play collegiate basketball. After bouncing around the league for his first five professional seasons, he signed with the Heat in 2008 out of free agency.
Jones went on to become an NBA Three-Point Shootout champion in 2011 and captured a championship the following season while wearing the white, black and red.
Born and raised in Florida—Udonis Halsem and James Jones.
Let us know in the comments below about what you think of their story and how much it means to your team when you have players on the roster from your team's home state.
Ethan Skolnick, featured in the video, also covers the Miami Heat for Bleacher Report.