If Zach LaVine decides to stop playing his favourite sport today, history will be kind to remember him as a former Washington Mr Basketball honor recipient, an NBA All-Rookie Second Team member, and a two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion. Read on to find out more about the 13th overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2014 NBA Draft who is currently a member of the Chicago Bulls.
Early Life And Education
LaVine was born Zachary LaVine on the 10th of March 1995 in Renton, Washington. At a very young age, after watching Michael Jordan star in Space Jam (1996), LaVine wanted to become a basketball player. It also helped that his parents were both athletes in their heyday, which meant he had the genes to achieve his dream.
Zach Lavine practised playing the game day in day out in the family backyard, modelling his game after his idol, the then Los Angeles Lakers star player, Kobe Bryant. He went on to attend Bothell High School where as a senior, he averaged 28.5 points. 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game to be named 2013 Washington Mr Basketball, Associated Press Washington State Player of the Year, and a first-team Parade All-American selection.
Before finishing high school, LaVine had verbally committed to attending the University of California, Los Angeles to play for the Bruins. He later contemplated going elsewhere after the school made changes to its coaching staff, however, he kept to his commitment. In his freshman year, LaVine was used as the team’s sixth man as he garnered comparisons between himself and former Bruins point guard Russell Westbrook due to his explosive style of play and dunks. He averaged 9.4 points per game and was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team before which he revealed he was entering the 2014 NBA draft and forgoing his three remaining college years.
Career And Injury Stats
On draft day, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Zach LaVine with the 13th overall pick and put him under the tutelage of Ricky Rubio and Mo Williams. LaVine did not get to play much in the beginning days of his NBA Career due to the senior point guards on the team. However, after Rubio suffered an injury that sidelined him indefinitely, LaVine secured a starting place ahead of Williams although the two later shared the job until Rubio returned. During the All-Star break that season, he became the youngest person since his childhood idol to win the Slam Dunk Contest as he also participated in the Rising Stars Challenge. LaVine went on to average 10.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 77 games to earn a spot on the All-NBA Rookie Second Team.
In his second season, LaVine retained the Slam Dunk trophy to become only the fourth player ever to win the accolade on consecutive occasions. He also increased his point averages to 14.0 points per game in 82 games. In his third year in the NBA, LaVine was averaging a career-high 18.9 points per game until he suffered a season-ending knee injury in February 2017. An MRI revealed that the player had torn an ACL in his left knee which required him to get reconstructive surgery. While undergoing his rehabilitation, LaVine was traded to the Chicago Bulls. He spent a total of 11 months on the sidelines before being able to return in January 2018.
Who Are Zach LaVine’s Parents?
As mentioned above, Zach LaVine’s parents were athletes. His father, Paul, was an American football player who played the linebacker position, notably in the National Football League (NFL) for the Seattle Seahawks as well as in the United States Football League (USFL). After retiring from the sport, he became a professional softball player, a sport which Zach’s mother, Cheryl Johnson-LaVine, played professionally.
During LaVine’s formative years, his father played the role of both coach and training partner. He was responsible for teaching his son the non-physical side of the game such as mental strength and to overcome poor form and injury.
Zach LaVine has been dating one girl since he was in high school. The former UCLA student is in a relationship with former Seattle University soccer player, Hunter Mar. The couple was said to have met in the Washington area where they both grew up, although they did not attend the same high school. They have since that time been inseparable as Mar is always pictured supporting her man at his games.
Height, Weight, And Quick Facts
Birth Name: Zachary LaVine
Date of Birth: March 10, 1995
Place of Birth: Renton, Washington
Height: 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m)
Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)