As a companion to yesterday’s 40th birthday post, here are six players that played an NBA game on their 19th birthday (there are no players who played a game on their 18th birthday – the closest was Andrew Bynum, who played his first game when he was 18 years 6 days old).
Looking at the results, we see a possible reason why the NBA went away from drafting high schoolers. Devin Booker (who has since scored 70 points in a game) played just two minutes and did not score. Eddy Curry scored 5 points in 10 minutes, and Giannis Antetokounmpo had just 6 points in 20 minutes. Martell Webster managed to clear double digits and score 10 points. Unfortunately he only made 2 of 11 shots on his way there.
The only two notable performances came from high school phenoms in consecutive years. On Dec. 30, 2003, Lebron James scored 22 points on 9-20 shooting, along with 10 rebounds and 4 assists. And the next year on December 8th, Dwight Howard also completed a double-double, with 17 points and 11 rebounds on 6-10 shooting. Not a bad birthday present to yourself!