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Thunder's Russell Westbrook never envisioned such a meteoric rise

There were lots of questions when Oklahoma City drafted Russell Westbrook fourth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. But the borderline All-Star continues to prove his worth.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 24, 2010

Speaking about Russell Westbrook for NBA TV's Oklahoma City Thunder season preview, Hall of Famer and current analyst Kevin McHale reminded viewers of the doubt that surrounded the team's point guard leading up to the 2008 NBA Draft.

"When he played at UCLA and we scouted him, him and Kevin Love on that team that went to the (NCAA) Final, I couldn't believe how dynamic the kid was," McHale said. "He did everything really well. I never thought he'd be this good in the NBA. I thought he'd be a stat stuffer, but not to the extent that he is."

Westbrook, who has blossomed into a borderline NBA All-Star, admitted he's surprised himself, too. Just four years ago, Westbrook was an overlooked high school prospect who lucked into a last-minute scholarship with the Bruins. Now, Westbrook is in the middle of a meteoric rise that never was in his game plan.

"Growing up, I never really thought about it," Westbrook said. "Everybody wants to play in the NBA. But I was kind of just trying to get to school so my parents wouldn't have to pay for it. I had to figure something out to get to school. And then I was just trying to be the best I could be.

"I didn't see none of this coming. It all happened so fast for me. I just try to stay humble and try to make the next jump. I'm just waiting to see what else happens."

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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