There are three things that come to mind when people think of Indiana. Yes, there is a lot of corn, and it is home to the biggest and most famous race in the world, the Indianapolis 500. Perhaps the thing we are known best for, though, is basketball.
While the parks in New York City and New Jersey claim to be the No. 1 spot for basketball, many still believe that Indiana is still the king of the sport. Times have changed, I know. The high school basketball here is not like what we all remember from the movie "Hoosiers." Not every player in the state is like Ricky Roe from the movie "Blue Chips." Bobby Knight and Gene Keady are both long gone, but the talent is still here.
With the recent trade sending George Hill back to his home state Indiana Pacers, where he played high school and college ball, it got me thinking about the talent that is in the NBA right now from around the area. Some of these players on this list played high school basketball in Indiana, while others played college ball here. Some, like Hill, actually did both.
Matt Carroll is similar to Quinn in that they were good players on a Notre Dame team that wasn't as good as they have been the past couple of years. Carroll was a force for the Irish, but he hasn't exactly made a name for himself in the NBA. He was not drafted, but currently plays for the Charlotte Bobcats.
White was one of the top players on the last Indiana team with Eric Gordon in 2008. After the whole mess that former coach Kelvin Sampson made there, White and Gordon headed to the NBA. While White was sent to the D-League a couple of times, he has been improving and is currently with the Charlotte Bobcats.
Harangody is mostly known for his dominance while playing for Notre Dame. Many people are surprised to know that he also played his high school ball in Indiana. Playing for Andrean High School, Luke grabbed the attention of the Irish. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics and currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Moore was recently drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. While he was a star at Purdue, he also was an outstanding high school player for Central High School in Indiana.
Fresh off getting his first NBA Championship, "The Custodian" comes in at No. 17 on this list. Cardinal has played for six teams in the NBA during his career. He was drafted in the second round of the 2000 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.
Mack was an outstanding played at Butler, and I think he will be a good role player in the NBA. He was drafted in the second round of 2011 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. The 6'3" guard hit some clutch shots for the Bulldogs in college, and could be a good defender for Washington.
Carney was the 16th player taken in the 2006 NBA Draft and currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are the fourth NBA team he has played for. An interesting note, Carney also played his college ball in Memphis after playing at Northwest High School in Indiana.
Born in Kendallville Ind., Miller has had a pretty good NBA career so far. He attended East Noble High School in state before going on to play at Purdue. Miller has played for seven different NBA teams, including the hometown Indiana Pacers. He is now a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Not bad for a player that wasn't drafted after his career finished up at Purdue.
Jeffries not only played his college ball in Bloomington, but his high school basketball as well. He was selected 11th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. Jared is now in his second stint with the New York Knicks after spending the part of the 2010-11 season with the Houston Rockets.
The Notre Dame player here at No. 12 is perhaps the best one of them all. Murphy has been an extremely versatile player in both college and the NBA. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Golden State Warriors. From 2007 to 2010, he played for the Indiana Pacers before being sent to the New Jersey Nets. Last year, he signed with the Boston Celtics in hopes of getting himself an NBA Championship.
While most people remember McRoberts from his days at Duke, he was also a star player at Carmel High School. He was taken in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. From the end of that year until this year, he has been a member of the Indiana Pacers. He is now a free agent, but will likely try to stay in Indy.
Johnson is known mostly for his career at Purdue, and for good reason. It should also be noted that he played for Franklin Central High School in Indiana. He was taken with the 27th overall pick in this year's draft by the New Jersey Nets and was immediately traded to the Boston Celtics, where he will join college teammate E'Twaun Moore.
Teague was a standout player at Pike High School, as is his younger brother Marcus. In 2009, he was taken with the 19th pick by the Atlanta Hawks, the team he currently plays for. He looked good during the playoffs this year and will continue to improve.
Like Teague, Lee was a standout player at Pike High School. He was selected 22nd overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He has looked good while playing for both the Magic and the New Jersey Nets. He is now a member of the Houston Rockets and continues to serve as a good bench player. He has been traded twice, the first coming as a part of the Vince Carter deal.
Landry actually played for two colleges in Indiana. He started off at Vincennes before transferring to Purdue, where he became a great player. He was the first pick of the second round of the 2007 draft. He played for the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings before being sent to the New Orleans Hornets, where he has been playing some of his best basketball.
Before leading the Butler Bulldogs to the National Championship game against Duke a couple of years ago, Hayward took his Brownsburg High School to new heights. In 2009, the Utah Jazz took Hayward ninth overall in the draft, and he hasn't disappointed. He fits very well in that system, and if he can stay there, he should have a good NBA career.
Conley was the fourth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, taken by the Memphis Grizzlies. He has spent his entire career there, and this past season was his best yet. He was a part of that magical playoff run that the Grizzlies had. He played very well and looks to have finally separated himself from Lawrence North High School and college teammate Greg Oden.
Speaking of Mr. Conley's teammate, Oden was a superstar at Lawrence North High School and in college. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, chosen ahead of Kevin Durant by the Portland Trail Blazers. Obviously, his NBA career has been plagued by injuries, but he still has the potential to be a very good player in this league. He is a free agent now, but it looks like Portland is going to do everything they can to make sure he stays with the team.
The big news around here since the draft last Thursday was the acquisition of Indiana's own George Hill by the Indiana Pacers. The Broad Ripple High School and IUPUI star has been coveted by Larry Bird since he was drafted in 2008 by the San Antonio Spurs. The 26th overall pick from that year has had a very good first three years in the league, playing with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. He has had the chance to learn from a championship winning coach and organization and looks to bring that back home to Indiana with him.
Mike Conley wasn't the only Indiana tie to the magical playoff run by the Memphis Grizzlies this year. One of their best players, Randolph, was a star player at Marion High School in Indy. He was drafted 19th overall in the 2001 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. It took a while for him to find his game, but he showed this year that he is a force in this league.
There is no doubt that Eric Gordon is the best current player in the NBA with ties to the state of Indiana. Before his one-and-done season at Indiana University, Gordon was a star at North Central High School. In 2008 the L.A. Clippers took him with the seventh overall pick.
He will be a free agent after next season, and it has been rumored for quite some time that Larry Bird wants him more than any other player in the league. He has vastly improved his overall game since coming into the league. He can handle the ball, drive to the basket, finish, defend, hit the three-pointer and play great defense. He has the potential to become a true All-Star in this league, and I think most people believe he will do so.