Kevin Garnett was so good in high school that he was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year in two states.
Garnett was the 1993-94 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a junior at Mauldin. The next year, Garnett transferred to Farragut Academy in Chicago and won Gatorade Illinois Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Garnett announced his retirement last week after a long and productive NBA career that included his being the only player in history with 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals.
As a high school senior, Garnett also was named the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year. He was joined on the first team that year by Shareef Adbur-Rahim, Vince Carter, Stephon Marbury and Ron Mercer, all of whom played in the NBA.
With Garnett as its star, Farragut finished ranked No. 3 in the Super 25 in 1994-95 and won its first Public League championship. Garnett averaged 26 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks a game.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Farragut coach Willie Nelson said shortly before Garnett graduated. “He has done more for one program than anyone in state history. You can see the progress at school and in the community. It’s a different place, and Kevin helped transform the school.
“He seems to bring out the best in people and always seems to find a way to smile about everything. He doesn’t think about a lot of the pressures of life. Everybody who meets him, as he turns around and walks away, they’ll say: `That’s a nice kid.’ Long after he’s gone, he’ll still be here. Everybody will remember.”