u-haul/quentin richardson

It took my girlfriend Mickey and I two days to drive from Chicago, IL to Las Vegas, NV. 1,768 miles through the great plains, mountains and desert. I won’t go in to the details of the journey, but needless to say it was interesting. We arrived safe, parked the U-Haul truck and collapsed for the rest of the day. We spend the next few days emptying out the truck so we could return it on time. You would think the long boring drive through the nations farms and deserts would provide inspiration for story ideas, but it was actually the drive to return the U-Haul truck that did it.

For the majority of the trip from Chicago, I illegally had headphones in my ears. Most rental trucks don’t come with CD players, and there was no way I was driving 22 hours with no music. So DJ iPOD hooked me up the entire trip. But the last ride in the truck back to the U-Haul place was the first time I turned on the radio. I’m a sucker for local sports radio stations. I don’t know what it is, but I can drive for hours listening to grown men debate, tear down, whine and complain about all kinds of sports. After 15 minutes of complaining about how the city of Los Angeles can’t support a professional football squad, they switched to a slightly lighter topic.

“In other news, the two top high school basketball products here in Nevada are thinking of attending UNLV.”

I was kinda stunned. I say that because back in Illinois, Chicago specifically, kids rarely choose to stay home to play. Here is a list of Chicago natives turned NBA players that attended schools in their home state:

James Augustine (illinois)
Luther Head (illinois)
Quentin Richardson (depaul)
Steven Hunter (depaul)
Bobby Simmons (depaul)

Now here are a list of Chicago natives turned NBA players that attended school elsewhere:

Dwayne Wade (marquette)
Michael Finley (wisconsin)
Corey Maggette (duke)
Antoine Walker (kentucky)
Juwan Howard (michigan)
Sean May (north carolina)
Awvee Storey (arizona state)
Kevin Garnett (went straight to the league)
Tony Allen (butler county college)
Jannero Pargo (neosho community college)
Julian Wright (kansas)
Justin Williams (wyoming)
Nazr Mohammed (kentucky)
Jason Maxiell (cincinatti)
Eddy Curry (went straight to the league)
Shawn Marion (unlv)
Derrick Rose (memphis)
Shannon Brown (michigan state)
Anthony Parker (bradley)
Candace Parker (tennessee)
Alando Tucker (wisconsin)
Melvin Ely (fresno state)

Now at age 17, who really wants to live at home. I understand that. At that same age I wasn’t thinking of giving any pride back to Wheaton, IL. Still, with Chicago being the third largest city in the nation, you would think we could land at least half of these players, right? Before 2005’s Illinois team made it to the championship game, I don’t recall any other team from the land of Lincoln making any type of noise. Where has the home pride gone?

So, I decided to make this my story. What influenced these two young men to stay in the great state of Nevada.

Let’s see what happens.

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~ by dseals on May 5, 2008.

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